Military on Mexico’s streets: Internal Security Law ruled unconstitutional by Supreme Court

Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that the Internal Security Law is unconstitutional in a vote that saw nine ministers rule in favour and one against.

The security law, which was directed at providing a framework for armed forces to take part in security and crime initiatives, has been annulled following the ruling.

The decision comes just one day after the Morena party proposed a reform that would also allow armed forces to patrol streets and prevent crime.

The Internal Security Law had brought considerable controversy since its introduction last year, citing the normalisation of military force in internal security enforcement, however AMLO’s plan to use the militarised national guard to patrol streets raises a question over what legalities will be brought in to replace the current law.

Of the people who voted against the law, which only Minister Jorge Pardo Rebolledo voted in favour of, the court has since spoken about a number of reasons which contributed to the proposed overhaul. According to Animal Politico, ministers believed that the former law was approved in haste and went against the democratic process of formulating legal process.

Furthermore, the Supreme Courts of Justice have also cited that the Internal Security Law offers a violation of public security in general whilst normalising the use of military power in everyday public use.

Policing across Mexico continues to come under fire as a result of poor funding, ill-trained officers and a number of vacancies in the police force. Decades of corruption, combined with cartel influences and staggering levels of impunity, have further fuelled a system of police abuse that appears to stretch far and wide across the country. Arguably more noticeable the further away you get from the country’s capital, there is an overwhelming distrust for Mexican police to this day.

This lack of confidence in the Mexican police is merely accentuated by the unprecedented levels of violence that are taking place in both the capital and regions further afield. Last year was documented as the most violent in the country’s modern history with regards to mortality rates, and this year is expected to surpass it. It was also in Acapulco a few months ago that the entire police force was disarmed after the discovery of major drug cartel corruptions.

On a count of all such concerns, the Internal Security Law was brought into action in a bid to attack corruption and cartel control with federal force. However, now that the legality has been deemed unconstitutional, the question remains what can be done to look after public security?

A report by ABC has highlighted the frustrations of human rights groups, who fear AMLO is looking to repeat a model that relies on military security.

Although offering the alternative of a national guard rather than military force, removing the Internal Security Law could also mean that obstacles preventing total military control of policing the country could have also been thrown up in the air.

leave a reply