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Mexican President Orders The Military To Attend Public Safety

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Office of the Mexican President
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file | agency | https://lopezobrador.org.mx/2019/06/30/presidente-inaugura-operaciones-de-guardia-nacional-pide-a-elementos-buenas-practicas-y-vocacion/
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador addressing the National Guard.

MEXICO CITY — Mexico will experience a new phase in its fight against crime, as the president ordered the military to help with the task. And while some see it as an opportunity to stop violence,  skeptics fear a militarization of the country. 

The president instructed the armed forces to help the National Guard until the end of his presidency in 2024.

Some analysts and human rights organizations say the decision will militarize the country and give more power to the president.Others say it reveals flaws with the year-old National Guard. 

Sergio Bárcena is a politics researcher at Mexico City’s Tec de Monterrey. He says militarizing the streets would come at a high political cost. 

“It would be a counterattack to his own entire discourse of ‘hugs and no bullets,'” said Bárcena.

Bárcena explains the order follows a constitutional amendment approved last year by the majority of parties. However, he says it’s unclear how the presidential orders will be executed.

“What the government is really saying is that the National Guard was not really functional,” the professor said.

Rodrigo Cervantes is KJZZ’s bureau chief in Mexico City, where he was born and raised. He has served as opinion writer, contributor and commentator for several media outlets and organizations in Mexico and the United States, including CNN, Georgia Public Broadcasting and Univisión. Cervantes previously worked as the business editor and editorial coordinator for El Norte, the leading newspaper in Monterrey and a publication of Grupo Reforma, Mexico’s premier news group. In Mexico City, Cervantes served in Reforma as a reporter, special correspondent, editor and special sections coordinator. Cervantes also held the editor position at MundoHispánico, a division of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Georgia’s oldest and largest Latino newspaper. He also participated as one of the first members of the Diversity Advisory Group for Cox Media. In 2012, Cervantes was appointed as fellow for the Leadership Program of The New York Times/Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, as well as for the "Líderes Digitales" program from the International Center for Journalists. In 2010, he was awarded with the Poynter-McCormick Leadership Fellowship. Cervantes graduated with honors in communication sciences and journalism from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM), Mexico City Campus. Later, he was granted the Fundación Carolina Scholarship from the Spanish government to obtain an MBA degree at San Pablo-CEU School of Business (Madrid). Other awards include: the Power 30 Under 30 Award for Professional and Community Excellence in Atlanta, the Outstanding Alumni Medal from ITESM, and several José Martí Awards for Journalism Excellence from the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP). Cervantes enjoys music, books, travel, friendship, good mezcal and the occasional company of his guitar.