Military Officials Tapped for Key Government Roles under AMLO

Photo: Deposit Photos


Despite repeated campaign promises to the contrary, the Mexican military’s influence over the nation has only grown underneath the administration of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), culminating in the placement of numerous high ranking military officials in key government positions during the past five years of López Obrador’s six-year term.

From being granted new jurisdictions like the construction of the Mexico’s ongoing megaprojects and oversight of the country’s customs operations, the Mexican Armed Forces now has a grasp on a variety of civilian areas – and, given the ongoing presence of military officials at the highest level of government, likewise has its hands directly in the country’s policy creation and implementation.

Retired General Audomaro Martínez Zapata has been in charge of the Mexico’s intelligence operations as the head of the National Intelligence Center (CNI) since López Obrador entered office in 2018, a role that’s become particularly contentious role given the military’s internationally controversial overstep in its use of surveillance technology, like cyberhacking program Pegasus, throughout the AMLO administration.

Another retired general, Luis Rodríguez Bucio, was appointed as the head of the López Obrador’s National Guard (GN) upon its creation in 2019, and was later tapped as the Undersecretary for Public Security of the Secretariat for Citizen Security and Protection (SSPC) four years later, with his post at the GN – an organization that’s been fraught with purported human rights violations since its inception – then replaced by retired General David Córdova Campos.

AMLO has also tapped various military officials to head civilian functions, including Secretariat of Defense (Sedena) Division General Jens Pedro Lohmann Iturburu to run Laboratorios de Biológicos y Reactivos de México, SA de CV (Birmex), Brigadier General Isidoro Pastor Román to oversee the operations of the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA) and retired pilot Vice Admiral Carlos Ignacio Velázquez Tiscareño to become the general director of the capital’s main aviation hub, the Mexico City International Airport (AICM).

In a move that’s continued expanding the military’s influence over Mexico’s customs operations, López Obrador appointed former Sedena undersecretary and retired Division General André Georges Lusson van Fullón as the new head of the National Customs Agency (ANA) on Wednesday, June 21.

Likewise, AMLO has placed Vice Admiral Raymundo Pedro Morales Ángeles from the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) to lead the construction Tehuantepec Isthmus Interoceanic Corridor project, and General Gustavo Ricardo Vallejo Suárez, who previously headed the construction of the AIFA, to oversee the development of three sections of López Obrador’s controversial Tren Maya pet project.

One of López Obrador’s most high profile appointments was the selection of retired Rear Admiral ​​Salvador González Guerrero to head Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM), with González Guerrero coming under intense scrutiny and facing criminal proceedings for his role in the lethal March 27 fire at the INM’s Ciudad Juárez facility that left 40 migrants dead in its wake.

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