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LatinNews Daily - 24 September 2020

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MEXICO: Governors denounce politicisation of public security

On 23 September governors from 14 Mexican states called on the federal government led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador not to politicise public security, arguing that this will only lead to failure.

Analysis:

The calls by the governors come amid accusations by Chihuahua state governor, Javier Corral, that the federal authorities have decided to abandon the state’s public security coordination committee due to the confrontation over the handling by the federal security forces of the protests over access to water in Chihuahua. The accusations raise further doubts over the López Obrador administration’s commitment to improving public security around the country.

  • Corral, of the national opposition Partido Acción Nacional (PAN) party, denounced that following his confrontation with the López Obrador administration over the excessive use of force by the national guard in dealing with the protests, federal security cabinet officials have not attended the security coordination committee. Corral revealed that the federal public security minister, Alfonso Durazo, informed him that the federal security cabinet had decided to no longer participate in the committee and instead hold its own regular meetings with commanders of the federal security forces stationed in Chihuahua.
  • Corral attributed the move to a “political retaliation” against his administration and complained that it would undermine the coordination of public security and the fight against criminality in the state. Corral also warned that it sets a precedent that could be replicated in other states, wheret the local and federal authorities have political differences.
  • The Alianza Federalista grouping of 10 opposition governors (that includes Corral) held a meeting yesterday to discuss the issue. Afterwards they released a statement criticising the decision and complaining that the national security policy “cannot be hostage to political disputes”. Warning that a lack of coordination between the federal and local security forces would only “benefit criminality and hurt society”, the statement urges the federal government to reconsider. A group of four other governors immediately supported the statement.

Looking Ahead: The López Obrador government has yet to respond to the statement. But given its failure to improve the security situation in Mexico to date, the controversy looks set to grow.