Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Another Look

Members of Calderón's national security cabinet told a group of senators earlier this week that it is willing to revise the role of the military fuero, as the exemption from civilian prosecution is called. Defense Secretary Guillermo Galván, who is a general, said that allowing soldiers to be prosecuted by a civilian court would be a "tough blow" for the armed forces, which was a predictable reaction. Even if that's not on the table, there are other ways that the government can increase the civilian oversight of military courts. It should be more aggressive in exploring these, as the military's ability to police and punish its own has been proven utterly insufficient.

Galván also said that any attempt to regulate the army's role in domestic security should be coupled with a new national police model. That's very true. Keeping closer tabs on the army is a great idea, but replacing it with police forces that are more prone to abuses doesn't make things any better.

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