Will the National Guard respect human rights?
The National Guard was created because the federal police is riddled with corruption - Photo: Edwin Hernández/EL UNIVERSAL

Will the National Guard respect human rights?

17/03/2019
09:44
Mexico City
Editorial
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Currently, the figure of the scapegoat is a common practice inside Mexican police corporations, where they “fabricate” culprits

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In the Bible, in the Book of Leviticus, an ancient ritual carried out by Hebrews to seek God's favor is mentioned, it consisted on sacrificing two goats: one sacrifice was carried out at the temple to purify the sins of the people and the other goat was symbolically charged with the sins of the Israelites and was sent to wander through the desert to die, carrying away the evil contained in the humans' hearts. This last one was known as the scapegoat.

Currently, the figure of the scapegoat is a common practice inside Mexican police corporations, where they “fabricate” culprits to be present before society, accused of both minor offences or offences against the country's peace. Before their incompetence, it's easier for the police to arrest people randomly.

The fabrication of crimes takes place in two areas: from a desk, ordered by an official to show how quickly an institution can solve the public security issues and those fabricated by the police officers themselves.

This is why the possession of firearms or drugs is so serious, because they are ground for pre-trial detention. It's very easy for police officers to “planting” rifles or cocaine to the detainees, in order to claim their job is done.

Also, if those arrested protest and make the case public, they and their families are harassed, persecuted, and extortionated.

The television farce set up by the federal police after the detention of Florence Cassez was the crudest example of a systematic practice that hasn't been eradicated. Public opinion feels relieved when they see images of people being arrested but they forget to ask for proofs that incriminate those alleged criminals.

Now, in the new government led by President López Obrador, the cornerstone of its new security strategy is the National Guard. It's been claimed they will be trained to focus on human rights. Will this change the way the fight crime? The incentives to fabricate culprits are still there because the penal reform with the presumption of innocence as its main axis, that is now being dismantled, was never implemented completely.

Adding more crimes to the catalog of crimes that merit pre-trial detention creates a path to fabricate culprits. Hopefully, the new administration is aware of this, before the human rights crisis becomes the reminder. The last thing we need is ruining more innocents' lives.

Artículo

National Guard unanimously approved by Mexican Senate

The new security force, made up of soldiers and police, will be put under civilian instead of military control
National Guard unanimously approved by Mexican SenateNational Guard unanimously approved by Mexican Senate

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