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Constitutional reform extending use of military for public security goes to Mexico state congresses

Mexico’s Senate and Chamber of Deputies have both approved a constitutional reform extending the use of the military for public security through 2028.

Now the measure needs to be approved by a majority of Mexico’s 32 state congresses. Mexico’s President Andrés Manuel López Obrador strongly supports the measure, and his party Morena — together with its coalition parties — enjoys majorities in more than half of those legislatures.

“We’re very disappointed and upset about this,” said Tyler Mattiace, the Mexico researcher for Human Rights Watch.

He noted that the military has been used in public security for many years, and during that time violence has increased, the effectiveness of law enforcement has declined and the armed forces have been implicated in serious human rights abuses.

“Everything indicates that this is a strategy that has failed,” he added.

The reform also comes in the wake of damning revelations about the military, both through the government’s investigation of an infamous 2014 mass disappearance case and a massive leak of emails detailing — among many other things — controversial surveillance, sexual assault coverups, and the drafting of legislation that serves its interests.

Born and raised in the Intermountain West, Murphy Woodhouse has called southern Arizona home for most of the last decade. He’s one of two field correspondents at KJZZ’s Hermosillo bureau, where his reporting focuses on the trade relationship between Arizona, Sonora and the rest of Mexico.Before joining the station, Murphy was a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star and the Nogales International. Prior to his reporting career, he completed a master’s degree at the University of Arizona’s Center for Latin American Studies and did three wildfire seasons with the Snake River Hotshots. He’s a proud graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Journalism.When he’s not reporting, Murphy is often out in the woods running or riding singletrack, or swinging in a hammock with a book.