Mexican President-elect AMLO announced that the government will create a national “civil guard” to combat violence in the country and curb the army’s role in the civil sphere.
On Saturday, the President-elect of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) promised the citizens of the country that the military will never be used against civilians while paying tribute to the massacred students during the Oct.2, 1968 protest. He also proposed to reform the army to guarantee peace and prevent tragedies like 1968 mass murder.
While giving a speech at Plaza Tlatelolco, AMLO said, "In this historical square we commit ourselves never to use the Army to repress the people of Mexico. We are going to suppress the General Staff and create a civil guard that will limit the use of force and guarantee human rights."
50 years ago, the same Plaza witnessed a macabre event on Oct. 2, 1986, when armed forces fired on a peaceful demonstration by the students, leaving at least 300 unarmed students dead, hundreds injured and more than 1000 detained. The students were protesting against the government of President Diaz Ordaz.
A federal court described the massacre as a genocidal event. A Mexican government institution, the Executive Commission for Victims’ Assistance, admitted for the first time in last week that the 1968 massacre was a state crime. In the recent times, Mexico faced the worst wave of violence with at least 85 people being killed per day on an average.
The army will not be returning to the barracks in the near future as the federal police do not have sufficient resources and that would leave the people vulnerable as argued by AMLO. The new “national civil guard” would be composed of members of the police and two military estates.
The Civil Guard will be created on the national level to unify the different security forces such as the army, navy and Federal Police.
The President-elect, who will assume his role and enter office on Dec.1, said during the rally, "in the investigations of the repression of '68, it appears that the General Staff was used" as a shock force against the students.” The details of the massacre have not yet been fully clarified even five decades later.
Obrador also vowed to support Mexican youth and their education by providing a monthly subsidy for students and creating more free public universities. According to him, unemployment and lack of opportunities ate the reasons that attract the youth towards “criminal activities”.
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