AMLO Doubles Down on Mexico’s Failed Security Policy

AMLO Doubles Down on Mexico’s Failed Security Policy
Defense Secretary Luis Cresencio Sandoval, left, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador salute during an event marking Army Day in Mexico City, Feb. 19, 2020 (AP photo by Marco Ugarte).

Fue el estado.” It was the state.

Those words have been ubiquitous on protest signs across the country since 2014, when 43 students at the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College in Guerrero went missing. Since then, activists have insisted that Mexican security forces and the government of then-President Enrique Pena Nieto were involved. The government of current President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, or AMLO, now appears not only to agree, but also to believe that those responsible should be punished. But AMLO’s security policies don’t suggest any real reforms that would prevent similar atrocities in the future.

On Aug. 18, a truth commission appointed by AMLO released its exhaustive report detailing the involvement of the military in the students’ disappearance, and the involvement of the military as well as government officials in the cover-up that followed. Since then, former Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam has been arrested and charged with obstruction of justice, torture and forced disappearances. Additional arrest warrants were issued for 20 military commanders, 26 municipal police and 11 state police officers from Guerrero. According to the report, the students, who had allegedly taken a bus that may have also been involved in drug trafficking, were monitored by military and intelligence officials throughout the events in which they were attacked and then kidnapped. Worse still, prosecutors claim to have recordings proving at least six of the 43 students were handed over to a local military unit and ordered executed by that unit’s commander.

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