"AMLO’s National Guard: Mexico Still Needs Its Military to Restore Public Safety"
By Alan Bersin and Nate Bruggeman — Lawfare
In the months since Mexico’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (often called “AMLO”), announced the creation of a “national guard” as a core component of his public security strategy, the proposal has received significant criticism. The precise composition and structure of the guard have been fluid, but it appears the group will initially draw from Mexico’s Federal Police, Army and Navy for staffing and will, apparently, be under a civilian chain of command.
Commentators have pounced on the continued critical role that Mexico’s military would play, at least in the near-term, in attempting to restore public safety in Mexico. Jake Dizard’s recent Lawfare article captures the essence of the opposition: The military has no place in a “law enforcement” role; it is a human rights threat given past human rights abuses by the military; and Mexico’s use of the military to combat criminal groups simply has not worked. López Obrador, in Dizard’s view, is recycling a failed strategy. But these arguments fail when confronted with a stark reality: Mexico does not currently have a viable alternative to using its military.