The National Guard is accused of violating human rights
The National Guard was created to protect civilians against crime - Photo: Christian Torres/EL UNIVERSAL

The National Guard is accused of violating human rights

14/11/2019
09:35
Mexico City
Editorial
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During the last decade, the armed forces perpetrated serious human rights violations

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The federal government insists that in the process to pacify the country, the current administration has focused on the respect of human rights and claims that it makes moderate use of force. In June 2019, when the National Guard was officially deployed, one of the main demands made to its members by President López Obrador was to respect human rights.

Despite these claims and demands, there are 24 lawsuits for alleged human rights violations against the National Guard. According to the National Human Rights Commission, the majority of the cases are linked to the operations to contain migrants in Mexico's northern and southern borders

In regards to human rights, one of the arguments used when lawmakers and legislators were discussing the creation of the National Guard was that it was a risk to make the incursion of soldiers in everyday security tasks official. Moreover, this corporation is formed by elements from the military police and by members of the armed forces, what is more, the National Guard is led by a retired General.

Mexico has to improve its human rights policies

Since the army took over security tasks over a decade ago, the number of human rights violations increased. The military elite acknowledged the situation and started to trains its members to respect human rights, and they also offered public apologies for human rights violations. Therefore, the rigid military training, which specializes in combat, can't be compared to the training police officers receive.

Since its creation, the National Guard has been mainly used to prevent Central American migrants from reaching the U.S., instead of protecting society against crime. Also, organizations that protect migrants have said that the National Guard intimidates or harasses people who transit Mexico on their quest for a better life, as well as shelters and human rights activists.

The National Guard seems to be making the same mistakes that the armed forces made in previous years. The police force won't be up to the task if it doesn't respect human rights. While this isn't the case, Mexicans will be at risk.

Human rights, Mexico's biggest task

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