It is said that the work of the military has to do with national security and not public security; it's true, but it also omits that a long time ago public security flooded the banks and turned into an issue of national security, which is to say, a threat to the institutions of the republic.
Some argue that the soldiers are poorly trained to play the role of police, but they forget that the police are even worse; not only that, but many commanders and police personnel are in the service of the cartels. Is it necessary to refresh the memory? In the attack on Minerva Bautista, then the secretary of public security in Michoacán, the commanders remained impassive despite the calls for support, awaiting the death of their superior; recently, in Monterrey, two criminals recovered the body of a murdered man, before the inaction of the municipal police; in one out of every two documented cases of kidnapping, an active or retired police officer is involved...
Do we want to leave public security in their hands? Returning the soldiers to the barracks implies surrendering space to the criminals that today kidnap, extort, smuggle people and murder not only their enemies, but people who have nothing to do with their criminal business.
The Federal Police --the seed of a professional police force-- has just 34,000 agents, roughly 10 percent of the officers that make up the local and state police. This implies that, even while maintaining programs of renovation, recruiting, and technical training, there won't be results in the short term. Much less when you take into account this disturbing fact: the resistance of the majority of the state governors to the "certification" of their commanders, which is to say, submitting them to controls of honesty.I don't share the idea of returning the soldiers to their barracks. Their presence in the cities, highways, and rural areas isn't the whim of the politicians, but rather a necessity of the state before the existence of criminal power. But this doesn't mean handing them a blank check. We are obligated to demand that the armed forces put into practice very rigorous mechanisms and protocols so that the conduct of soldiers and marines in security tasks abides by the most scrupulous respect for human rights. The integrity of the armed forces demands a robust effort on this issue.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
An Argument against Removing the Military from the Stage
Alfonso Zárate on the demands for the military to return to the barracks: