AMLO’s Government Has Militarized Mexico Most, Mexico United against Crime Inventory Shows

The document indicates that the SEDENA, SEMAR, and the National Guard receive more and more budget and civil functions to carry out tasks for which they are not empowered.

According to the National Inventory of the Militarized, a database that documents the increase in military presence in our country, carried out by the Drug Policy Program (PPD), Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD) and Intersect, between 2006 and 2023, the three levels of government have transferred civil functions and budgets to the armed forces on at least 291 occasions, through two constitutional reforms, 12 federal legislative reforms, 19 presidential decrees and agreements and 258 particular agreements signed between the forces. armed forces and federal, state and municipal civil authorities. The majority, however, have been approved in this six-year term.
The document indicates that SEDENA, SEMAR, and the National Guard receive more and more budget and civil functions to carry out tasks for which they are not empowered.

The above has occurred through constitutional reforms, federal legislative reforms, agreements and presidential decrees; and accords and agreements signed between the armed forces and different civil institutions.
Regarding constitutional and legislative reform initiatives, in the last six legislatures, 87 initiatives aimed at militarization have been presented. The vast majority (77%) has presented itself in the two most recent legislatures, with a MORENA majority.

MORENA is the political party that has presented the most initiatives to increase the powers of the armed forces, being responsible for 46% of the initiatives presented. Of the 87 initiatives presented, 16% have been approved: two constitutional reforms and twelve legislative reforms. All but one were approved after 2018.

The Inventory also documents the signing of 19 military agreements, all issued in the current six-year term. The majority create state-owned companies under the control of the armed forces and allow them to participate in priority work of the government, such as the Mayan Train.

Another mechanism that makes it possible for the armed forces to receive a budget and civil functions are the accords and agreements signed between military institutions and civil institutions of the three levels of government.
The Inventory records that between 2007 and 2022 there were 258 agreements that transferred civil budget functions to the armed forces: 222 agreements that transferred civil functions with their respective budgets, eight agreements with civil functions and without a budget and, finally, 28 agreements that transferred civil budgets for military functions. In these cases, for example, there are federal entities that pay the armed forces to build military barracks or other military infrastructure.

“Although this transfer of functions and budgets has been a phenomenon across governments, since 2010 there has been a constant increase in agreements concluded between civil authorities and military institutions. According to the data analyzed, this increase reached its peak in 2019, the year in which 43 agreements were registered. If the accords and agreements signed between federal institutions with the armed forces are analyzed, 21 were signed during Calderón’s six-year term and 55 during Peña Nieto’s term, while in the four years of López Obrador’s six-year term studied, 51 were signed,” the document highlights.

The records contained in the Inventory show that currently many of the transfers of civil functions occur through agreements between the armed forces and different civil institutions. These agreements are between parties, so they usually occur outside of the public sphere and are also difficult to access.

The Inventory report also provides four arguments why militarization is problematic. First, because it is a process that goes against the Constitution. Second, because the armed forces are managed under a special regime and, therefore, are not subject to the same obligations and controls as civil institutions, even though they are carrying out the same functions.

“Third, because the empirical evidence from Mexico demonstrates that the participation of the armed forces in public security tasks has not only failed to contain violence, but has contributed to exacerbating it, and fourth, because the evidence from comparative experience – militarization processes in other countries – shows that there is a negative and significant relationship between militarization and democracy,” the report adds.

The Inventory documents only part of the militarization, that which could be accessed. The database with which this analysis was built is available at for anyone interested in consulting it and continuing with the discussion and analysis in this regard.

Original article by Antonio López Cruz in El Milenio April 28, 2024)
Translated by Schools for Chiapas.
Photos in original article from EFE.

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