Ricardo Monreal, leader of the National Regeneration Movement majority bloc in the Senate. Photo: Google

By MARK LORENZANA

At least for the time being, the proposal to extend the presence of the Armed Forces on the streets for public security tasks until 2028 has been suspended by the Mexican Senate.

During the discussion, Ricardo Monreal, leader of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena) majority bloc in the Senate, took the stand on Wednesday, Sept. 21, and proposed giving more time to discuss the reform and returning it to the committees.

“We can give it more time, we’re not in a hurry,” Monreal said.

“They don’t have the votes, they don’t have the votes,” chanted some members of the opposition bloc, after Monreal proposed extending the discussion period.

Damián Zepeda, a senator from the conservative National Action Party (PAN) immediately shot down the suggestion. “Today, the attempt to militarize the country dies,” he said.

The plenary session of the Senate, however, approved the Morena request to return the proposal to the committees “for additional analysis,” or even “to work on a new initiative.”

“The purpose of this request is for the ruling commissions to have more time for analysis and, where appropriate, rethink the text of the draft of this decree, or prepare and work on a new initiative or project that achieves the consensus of the parliamentary groups that concur in these commissions,” read the official request of the majority bloc.

On Monday, Sept. 19, Monreal admitted that the proposal might hit a snag in the Senate, as the voting numbers were not in favor of the bill.

“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 at that time. “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.”

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, legislators from Morena and the centralist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) approved and endorsed the proposal to the Senate.

Yolanda de la Torre, a deputy of the PRI, originally drafted the proposal, which PRI President Alejandro Moreno promptly supported. This led to the fracturing of the now-suspended Va Por México coalition, which consisted of the PRI, the PAN and the left-leaning Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).

As recently as August of this year, the then-Va Por México coalition had vowed to strengthen their alliance for the upcoming 2023 local public elections and the 2024 Mexican general elections against Morena. At that time, the group released a joint statement, and said that “the unity of the Va por México coalition is firm and solid.”

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