15 | OCT | 2019
On the navy officers assaulted
Navy officers – Photo: Juan Carlos Reyes/EL UNIVERSAL

On the navy officers assaulted

Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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A peaceful protest in Jalisco soon turned into attacks against Navy officers – let's say no to violence and disrespect

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It has been widely discussed that the deployment of armed forces in the streets of our country to perform law enforcement duties has its risks since this is not their original task.

This Monday in Guzmán City, Jalisco, a situation took place in which Navy officers became the target of assaults by locals.

A peaceful protest soon turned into attacks against the officers. The protest had the purpose of demanding the appearance of a young man who vanished in January, a case in which the Mexican Navy was allegedly involved. Given that close to the protest there were two vehicles with Navy officers on board, protesters turned against them.

For almost two hours the Navy officers found themselves surrounded by dozens of locals who placed protest signs on their military vehicles. With the support of local police officers and after shots were fired into the air, the surrounded navy officers were finally rescued.

The risk of abuses by armed forces exists; however, there are also means to address them. In fact, even the armed forces themselves have acknowledged they need to train their personnel in human rights and have taken action. Moreover, international and national human rights organizations keep a close eye on any complaint in this regard and they promptly notify our armed forces.

Other risks of this “protests” against the deployment of armed forces are sponsored by organized crime groups, producing a wear and tear in the image of the military. It's surprising to see some sporadic rejections in some areas of the country, despite our military is one of the institutions which generates the greatest trust among the population, according to polls.

Yet the greater risks of having armed forces performing law enforcement tasks is the apathy generated in local and state authorities when professionally dealing with crime and acquiring the necessary equipment and training.

There are over 10 years in which the troops have faced situations for which they haven't been trained, without having civilian local groups to fight crime.

We can and have to demand the proper behavior of armed forces but also of the citizens toward our military officers. Let's say no to violence and disrespect for our institutions.


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