World

Mexico’s Nationwide Guard, Created to Combat Crime, Is Deployed to Capital


Ms. Sheinbaum’s safety technique additionally consists of strengthening town’s police drive. Since she took workplace in December, town has elevated police salaries and employed 3,000 new officers. The police drive is planning to extend the variety of officers by virtually 50 p.c, to 24,000, she mentioned.

Mr. López Obrador mentioned final week that his authorities had initially thought of it pointless to ship the Nationwide Guard to Mexico Metropolis, which has a largely useful police drive of its personal.

However progress has not come quick sufficient, the president mentioned.

Murder charges within the metropolis of virtually 9 million folks have jumped as a lot as 50 p.c in some months, in contrast with a yr earlier, though in different months they’ve remained comparatively secure. In Might, for instance, there have been 157 homicides; in Might 2018 there have been 98.

Luis Wertman, the director of Belief and Citizen Impulse, a civil group that focuses on safety points, agreed that violence was rising and blamed previous metropolis administrations, which he mentioned did not pay sufficient consideration to safety and crime prevention.

Nonetheless, he argued that the Nationwide Guard was pointless. Mexico Metropolis has one of many nation’s best-trained native police forces within the nation, and the deployment of militarized forces may immediate a backlash within the famously liberal metropolis, he mentioned.

Whereas different cities have been accustomed to a navy presence over the previous dozen years, since former President Felipe Calderón first sent the military to fight drug gangs, the capital’s residents are cautious of the armed forces — a legacy of the navy crackdowns on scholar and opposition protests within the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mr. Wertman mentioned.

“Historically, Mexico City has rejected the military patrolling of the streets,” he mentioned.

Francisco Rivas, the director of Observatorio Ciudadano, a criminal offense watch group, lamented what he described because the “effective militarization of public security,” and mentioned the deployment left many questions unanswered: “questions about training, accountability and specific objectives.”



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Paulina Villegas

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