By KELIN DILLON
After Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) already handed his pet project the National Guard and 35 billion pesos at the beginning of the year, López Obrador decided to give them yet another 50 billion pesos on Monday, July 26, more than doubling their already-appointed budget.
AMLO said the added funds will help the National Guard absorb faster into the Secretariat of National Defense (Sedena) over the course of the next two years, an initiative he proposed through constitutional reform just last month, and the extra money will be acquired from the Secretariat of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).
López Obrador likewise claimed the increase in spending would prevent the National Guard, which notably answers directly to him, from “rotting” like the now-defunct federal police.
“Now we are sure that the National Guard will be an institution that will exist for a long time and that it will not deviate, lay down or lose direction,” said López Obrador. “It will always be at the service of the people and at the service of the nation.”
Despite the increased presence and funding of the National Guard over the first years of AMLO’s administration, violence has been increasing all across Mexico, leading to many critics questioning why the budget raise is necessary if the group is so largely ineffective.
Other detractors of AMLO’s move also pointed out how this will cause major problems for Mexico’s treasury, considering the country’s tax revenues had only increased by a dismal .3 percent in the past year.