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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Mexico’s president is giving the armed forces new powers

04/26/2021

Source: The Economist

THE MAYA TRAIN, a 1,500km-long railway that is due to run through five states in the Yucatán peninsula, is one of Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s pet projects. But rather than entrust the job to 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 of the profits.

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 2018 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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Mexico charges 30 marines over forced disappearances in border city

04/15/2021

Source: Reuters

Mexican authorities have charged 30 marines for allegedly participating in a string of forced disappearances in the violent northern border city of Nuevo Laredo in 2018, the Attorney General’s Office said on Thursday.

The charges mark the first high-profile move against military personnel by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who took office in late 2018 vowing to curb violence and end impunity. His government has made unprecedented use of the military for a range of projects from policing to construction.

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Mexico arrests 30 marines over disappearances in Tamaulipas

04/14/2021

Source: Yahoo! News

Thirty Mexican marines have been arrested over the disappearance of an unspecified number of people in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas in 2014, officials say.

Prosecutors say the victims went missing when the marines deployed in the border city of Nuevo Laredo.

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Mexico: witness to disappearance of 43 students alleges soldiers involved in attack

01/21/21

Source: The Guardian

A witness to the disappearance of 43 Mexican student teachers has alleged that soldiers were involved in the 2014 attack , the country’s president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, has confirmed.

The disappearance of the trainees from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College on 26 September 2014 rocked Mexico, sparking widespread protests and calls for justice, but the investigation into the case has been widely criticized.

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Mexico’s president says army to run Maya train project

12/20/2020

Source: KSAT San Antonio

MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Sunday the army will run the Maya train project and several airports, and use any profits to finance military pensions.

The army is already overseeing construction on some parts of the controversial project, while private firms build the rest.

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As Mexico’s security deterioriates, the power of the military grows

12/17/2020

Source: The Washington Post

MEXICO CITY — When President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took office, his senior aides were blunt. Mexico’s security system was “in ruins,” they warned. Homicides were at record highs. Local police forces were infiltrated by crime groups. Tens of thousands of people had been forcibly disappeared. The country, they concluded in an analysis sent to the national Congress, had been “transformed into a cemetery.”

López Obrador, an icon of the Mexican left, was a longtime critic of the U.S.-backed war on drugs. “Soldiers should be returned to the barracks,” he had insisted. But confronted with the highest levels of violence in 60 years, he responded as his predecessors had: He called on the military.

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Mexico’s military gains power as president turns from critic to partner

11/21/2020

Source: The Los Angeles Times

MEXICO CITY — As a candidate for president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador slammed Mexico’s armed forces and the “mafia of power” that he said controlled them. He accused soldiers of human rights abuses in the country’s bloody drug war and publicly clashed with Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, then secretary of defense.


But after taking office, López Obrador changed his tune, embracing the same military leaders he had once bashed.

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Arrest of former defense minister shatters trust in Mexico’s armed forces

10/18/2020

Source: CNN

(CNN) The general’s speech was forceful and unequivocal, his demeanor somber and severe. Impeccably dressed in full military uniform, Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, then Mexican Secretary of Defense, spoke before a group of thousands of Mexican soldiers under his command on a spring day in April 2016 at Military Camp Number One, near Mexico City.

“Those who act like criminals,” the general said, reading from prepared remarks, “those who disrespect people, those who disobey — not only are they breaking the law but are not worthy of belonging to the armed forces.”

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Mexico’s top military brass offer president public loyalty pledge

AMLO

11/21/19 – Reuters

By Abraham Gonzalez; Anthony Esposito

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador received a pledge of loyalty from top military chiefs on Wednesday, three weeks after a report of a critical speech from an army general raised fears of dissent among the upper echelons of the country’s armed forces.

The military’s public show of support for Lopez Obrador comes amid heightened concern from Latin America’s left about the role that pressure from the armed forces played in the resignation of Bolivian President Evo Morales ten days ago.

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