By MARK LORENZANA
On Wednesday, Sept. 14, Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies approved a proposal to use the Armed Forces for public security tasks until 2028, but according to Ricardo Monreal, upper-house leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), the proposal might hit a snag in the Mexican Senate.
The initiative has been moved to the Senate, and is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Monreal admitted that the Senate numbers were not in favor of the bill — if each of the 128 senators occupied their seats on the day of voting, the proposal would need 86 votes.
“We have met with coordinators of the parliamentary groups and with federal government officials, but so far we have not reached a consensus,” Monreal said. “We continue to work and talk, but I must honestly say that the parliamentary groups are in a position that does not allow for much movement.”
Yolanda de la Torre, a deputy of the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), originally drafted the proposal, which was promptly supported by PRI President Alejandro Moreno and Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), as well as his Morena allies in the Chamber of Deputies, which make up the majority bloc in Congress. This led to the fracturing of the opposition group Va Por México coalition, which consists of the PRI, the conservative National Action Party (PAN) and the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).
A senator from the opposition bloc, in an interview with Mexican daily newspaper Reforma, said he knew that the majority bloc in the Senate had sought out governors from the PAN to try to get them to influence their counterparts and party mates in the upper house.
On Saturday, Sept. 17, 21 senators that make up the PAN bench closed ranks and announced that they would all vote against the initiative. Likewise, 12 senators from the Citizen’s Movement party and three from the PRD also vowed to reject the proposal.
According to sources consulted by Reforma, on the side of the PRI bench, Manuel Añorve from Acapulco in the southwestern Mexican state of Guerrero, could be the only one among the 13 PRI senators who would support the controversial initiative.
“I still don’t know, let me see how things will progress,” said Añorve, who is described in the Reforma report as “very close” to PRI President Moreno.