Mexico’s President-Elect to Set up National Border Police
Mexico’s president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, will assume power as Mexico’s new president on December 1 and according to his future chief of public security, one of the first items on his agenda is to establish a border police. The goal of the new border police will be to stop the flow of undocumented immigrants, drugs and guns from entering the country.
Obrador, who is affectionately known as AMLO, won the Mexico election in a landslide victory just over a week ago. AMLO campaigned on a platform that promised to crack down on government corruption and the country’s rising poverty and crime problem. Leading up to the election over 100 politicians were murdered, presumably by organized crime gangs who targeted politicians that pledged to crack down on crime.
Mexico Will Establish a Border Police
Bloomberg reported that Alfonso Durazo, the former private secretary to former President Vicente Fox and Obrador’s incoming chief of public security, said Mexico’s proposed border police will be part of a “larger regional development initiative” to reduce the poverty and violence that compels people to cross into Mexico from Central America.
“We’re going to create a border police force that will be highly specialized,” Durazo said in an interview. “They need to apply the law.”
Most illegal immigrants enter Mexico from the southern border. However, the proposed border police will also cover Mexico’s northern border.
Underlying Factors Will be Addressed Too
To achieve the ultimate purpose of establishing the border police, the incoming government will address the underlying factors that propel people to enter Mexico illegally too. Durazo stressed humanitarian approaches will be a key part of the regional initiative as well.
“The legitimate use of force by the state is a resource,” Durazo said. “But it shouldn’t be the first resource, it should be the last one.”
The underlying factors are largely poverty and violence in Central America. As such, Bloomberg reported Durazo stressed that the most significant efforts to curb crime, drugs and illegal immigration will be through humanitarian measures. He also said that the new administration will work with Central American governments to improve living conditions for their citizens.
Corruption a Priority
AMLO won on a platform that promised to tackle the corruption that runs rampant in Mexican politics and law enforcement. He also promised to stand up to Trump’s attacks on Mexicans and the U.S. crackdown on immigrants.
Thus, deterrence, rather than punitive measures, will be a central tactic for AMLO as he addresses corruption. AMLO must find a way to secure the border and crack down on crime and punishment without appearing like an authoritarian figure.
To do this, AMLO said he plans to significantly increase the salaries and benefits of law enforcement and create more police academies to increase the country’s capacity to train officers. There’s also the possibility that marijuana will be decriminalized, which Bloomberg reported, was suggested in comments made by AMLO’s top police chief, but that the matter would be voted on first.