Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mexico's Proposed National Security Reform Would Allow President to Use Military Against "Movements or Conflicts of Political, Electoral, Labor, or Social Nature"

President Felipe Calderón and Defense Secretary Guillermo
Galván Galván share a laugh.

Mexico's House of Deputies is debating a reform to the National Security Law that would attempt to legalize Mexico's unconstitutional participation in domestic policing duties, as well as expand its official mandate to include repressing social movements and organizations.  Mexican human rights organizations are uniformly opposed to the reform.

The Americas Program's Murphy Woodhouse has the best analysis and summary in English:
The reform to the National Security Law now before the lower house would grant sweeping military powers to the executive and limit congressional oversight of domestic military activity. It would grant President Felipe Calderón the ability to effectively declare states of exception without congressional approval and unilaterally use the military against any group he deems to be a “threat to internal security.” Also expanded would be the surveillance powers of the army, marines and Cisen, the Center for National Security and Investigation, which would be allowed to “use any method of information collection, without in any case affecting human rights and guarantees for their protection.”
[…]
[T]he draft legislation, of which La Jornada obtained a copy, explicitly states that the executive can use military force against ‘movements or conflicts of political, electoral, labor, or social nature that are deemed to be a challenge or threat to interior security.’ 
[…]
The plot thickened several days ago when El Proceso released a report, which cited sources close to the negotiations, claiming that a threatened release of so called “black files”, containing incriminating information about numerous PRI governors around the country, was used by the executive and defense department to get favorable votes from previously recalcitrant PRI deputies. 
Opposition senators from the PRD and the PAN have announced that they will block the House of Deputies version of the National Security Law reform, which greatly differs from the version already passed in the Senate.

Read the entire article on the proposed reform on the Americas Program site.
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