The Latin America Working Group (LAWG) joins U.S., Mexican, and international NGOs in expressing deep concern about the Internal Security Law currently being discussed in the Mexican Congress. The proposed law aims to legalize the participation of the armed forces in the tasks of citizen security. This is particularly concerning given the high levels of violence and abuses committed by the Mexican military and armed forces, as well as the rampant impunity for such actions. Instead of seeking to regulate the actions of the military, investigate abuses, and remove armed forces from the streets, this Internal Security Law is proposing to expand their presence and role in Mexico, further militarizing public security.
The letter states: “The presence of the army in public security reinforces the mistaken idea that the armed forces are suitable to solve the problems of public security, which, to the contrary, should be the function of the civil forces. At the same time, the allocation of additional resources to the army reduces support for the institutional strengthening of the police.” Several egregious cases of human rights violations, such as the disappearance of the 43 Ayotzinapa students and the extrajudicial execution of citizens in Tlatlaya, have shown the range of terrible human rights abuses in which the Mexican military has been implicated.
The letter further describes how the attempt to legalize a militarized approach to security goes against Mexico’s constitutional and international obligations, is ineffective, and encourages impunity.
LAWG joins civil society partners in urging Mexico’s Legislative Branch to ensure that any proposed law be based on respect for human rights and comply with the resolutions and recommendations of international human rights organizations.