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    InicioFronteraLawmakers approve National Guard constitutional reform

    Lawmakers approve National Guard constitutional reform

    State lawmakers approved the National Guard constitutional reform days after Mexico’s second in command visited town

    Lawmakers with the Commission of Government, Legislation and Constitutional Affairs voted for the bill passed by Mexican Congress to extend the militarization of law enforcement operations through the National Guard.

    The bill was approved by the Assembly Thursday days after Mexico’s Secretary of Government Adán López Hernández visited town.

    Proposed legislation extends the presence of military personnel in law enforcement activities until 2028 — well into the next federal administration.

    The bill permits the president to use National Defense staff for law enforcement operations while the National Guard prepares its abilities and structure countrywide.

    Legislation includes a mandate that says the military would not substitute civilian law enforcement agencies.

    At the same time, the bill provides Congress with oversight and control of the military according to Mexico Supreme Court rulings.

    Days ago, the Secretary of National Defense declined to appear in Congress for a legislative hearing and instead asked the meeting to be held in military facilities.

    “Suspects appeal when arrested by military staff,” Commission Chairman Juan Manuel Molina said in a prepared statement. “Citizens ask for the (military presence) for their tranquility.”

    “What is pretended is to have legal certainty and move forward with human rights issues,” Assemblywoman Rocío Adame said. The lawmaker added that the bill allows states and cities to strengthen their police agencies in order to have well trained agencies in the future.

    Assemblywoman Daylin Garcia voted against the bill.

    Mexico’s official visits town

    Mexico’s Secretary of Government Adán Augusto López Hernández visited town Monday in order to promote a bill that seeks to extend the participation of military personnel in law enforcement activities.

    The bill was recently approved by Mexican Congress, but also needs approval of at least 17 state legislatures.

    The Mexican official — a potential presidential candidate — said the bill’s goal is to make the country safe and peaceful again.

    López Hernández held a meeting with local lawmakers and Baja California Governor Marina Avila.

    “There’s fear that our children will go out to play like years before,” the Secretary said. “We need to breathe and live the beautiful aroma of freedom and security.”

    According to the Secretary, a majority of Baja Californians support the use of military personnel in public safety activities.

    Soldiers were first taken out of their facilities during the administration of President Felipe Calderón, a member of the conservative National Action Party. The measure was linked to the strengthening of local and state police agencies. However, the administration reduced police funds and increased the budget for the National Guard.

    The bill extends the support of the Department of National Defense until 2028 — well into the next Mexican administration.

    If the authorities soon reach the goals of preventing crime and administering justice, Sec. López Hernández considered, “very soon we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

    The Mexican official assured crime rates are falling, but the nation still needs a last effort.

    Lawmakers speak

    State lawmakers also discussed the bill during the meeting. Legislators with the opposition recalled that President Andrés Manuel López Obrador administration has been the bloodiest in Mexico’s history due to the record-breaking amount of homicides.

    Sec. López Hernández said the authorities first need an assessment of past and today’s crime rates.

    Assemblywoman Rocío Adame, of the president’s National Regeneration Movement Party, said the bill will get the support in the legislature.

    The secretary said the military will be under scrutiny while performing police duties.

    “In Baja California we know the fundamental work of the Armed Forces and the National Guard that have professionally performed to recover peace,” the governor said in her statement.

    Gov. Avila also said Baja Californians support the National Guard as an instrument to bring security back and hopes local lawmakers approve the bill as well.

    The secretary and the governor met the so-called Citizens Block of Mexicali during an event held at Cetys Universidad.

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