Mexico’s president is giving the armed forces new powers

04/29/2021

Source: The Economist

MEXICO CITY

The maya train, a 1,500km-long railway that is due to run through the Yucatán peninsula, is one of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s pet projects. But rather than entrust the job to world-class architects or engineers, Mexico’s president has given it to military men. Last year he said the armed forces would build several sections of track, later adding that they would also operate part of the line. In March it was revealed that the army would not only construct and run the railway, but also keep all the profits from it, too.

The story of the Maya train hints at the rising influence of the armed forces under amlo, as he is known. During his campaign in 2017 he promised to remove soldiers from the streets and criticised the army for human-rights abuses. But since becoming president he has given them more and more power. They have not held such sway since the end of Mexico’s military-led government in the 1940s.

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