The military in Latin America

Mexico's unique civil-military pact

The US-based Wilson Centre in September published an interesting report on AMLO’s changing relationship with the Mexican armed forces, under the title ‘Militarisation a la AMLO: How Bad Can It Get?’ The author, Craig A Deare, highlights the key role played by military forces in the 1910-1917 Mexican Revolution, a period in which, according to the best historical estimates, somewhere between 1m and 2m people died in the violence.  Significantly, every single subsequent president, up to 1946, had played a role as an active service general during the revolutionary period. Miguel Alemán, the first real civilian in the job, reached a historic pact that still influences civil-military relations today. Essentially, the president would support military autonomy, and in exchange the military would defend the president against any internal or external threat.

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