What Do We Mean By Militarization?

Indigenous rejection of military incursion. Photo: Pedro Valtierra

by Gilberto López y Rivas

We understand militarization, in the Mexican case, as the assignment of missions, tasks, prerogatives and competencies to the Armed Forces, not contemplated in the Constitution and its laws, and which correspond to other Ministries, institutions and government agencies dedicated to security, public works, and the administration of the State. This process has deepened as of the decree of May 8th, 2020 which granted public security to the Armed Forces until 2024, the creation of the National Guard under military leadership, the control of ports and customs to the Secretary of the Navy, and the construction of the metropolitan airport of Santa Lucia, several sections of the Mayan Train (which will be military property), the branches of the Bank of Well-being, various civilian airports on the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the exponential increase of the budget of the Secretary of Defense (SEDENA), the Navy and the National Guard, while other Secretariats like that of Culture, had 75% of their budgets cut. Military spending in Mexico increased the equivalent of 6.5 billion dollars in 2019, the first year AMLO’s administration, which doubled the rate of growth worldwide, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in their annual report on world military spending. The inclusion of the Army in a scientific council that plans governmental investment in research, innovation, and technology is one of the latest actions on the road to militarization. 

Thus, the current government gives continuity to the capitalist accumulation by dispossession, militarized and necro-political, that previous neoliberal administrations put into practice.

This piece was published in Camino al Andar on April 22, 2021.
https://www.caminoalandar.org//post/qué-entendemos-por-militarización
This English interpretation has been re-published by Schools for Chiapas.