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In yet another act of getting his way by hook or by crook, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) on Saturday, Sept. 3, bulldozed his initiative to transfer control of the National Guard (GN), the allegedly civilian security force he created, to the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena), the country’s military, through the lower house Chamber of Deputies by rewriting the reform.

The president’s controversial initiative, which would have originally required a change to the Mexican Constitution and a 60-percent majority vote in Congress, was unlikely to pass given a strong rejection to the move by members of opposition parties, mainly on the grounds that it would constitute the further militarization of the country.

Consequently, AMLO, who last time one of his congressional initiatives did not pass declared all those who voted against it “traitors to the homeland,” rewrote the proposed legislation in order to avoid having to change the constitution.

At the specific behest of López Obrador, the Chamber of Deputies, which is dominated by the president’s leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party, fast-tracked the new four-part initiative through its ordinary session verbatim as it was presented by AMLO Saturday after 14 hours of debate, approving the National Guard’s incorporation into Sedena.

The proposed legislation passed with 264 votes in favor, 212 against and one abstention, and now goes to the Senate, which is also controlled by Morena, for approval.

If approved by the Senate, which is highly likely, the new legislation would provide for the GN to officially be “attached to the Secretariat of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC),” but with all of its funding and activities subject to Sedena.

The new legislation states; “The head of the Secretary of National Defense has the following powers: I. to exercise operational and administrative control of the National Guard, within the framework of the National Strategy for Public Security, and when the head of the federal executive has its intervention to help the permanent Armed Forces in the exercise of their missions; II. to issue the organization, procedure and public service manuals of the National Guard; III. to elaborate the operational programs and strategies of the National Guard.”


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