Militarization in Mexico poses a concern for the United States, according to a recent US Congressional report.
If Mexico continues to rely on its military for public security tasks and accepts less foreign aid from the United States, the US Congress may lose some influence in reforming the rule of law in Mexico through conditions on assignments, vetting, and human rights training.
Such an assumption is raised in the US Congress report that addresses the new security strategy between the two countries.
The US Congress has expressed ongoing concern about the violence and human rights abuses perpetrated by criminal groups and corrupt officials in Mexico.
Since 2018, homicides in Mexico have exceeded 33,000 annually.
At least five journalists have reportedly been killed in 2022.
Some 95,000 enforced disappearances have also been reported, the majority since 2006.
Impunity for homicides stood at around 90% in 2019, higher for other crimes.
To deter such crimes and abuses, experts have urged Mexico to strengthen its criminal justice system to increase the likelihood of prosecution.
Militarization in Mexico
Under the Merida Initiative, the United States government awarded more than $406 million to help train and equip federal and state justice operators (police, prosecutors, judges, and forensic personnel) to serve in the new justice system. Mexico’s adversarial justice system, which entered into force in 2016.
While the non-governmental organization World Justice Project has praised the system’s potential to increase transparency, efficiency and accountability, the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has cut funding for its key police institutions as part of security measures. austerity, according to the same report.
He also dismantled the federal police and created a military-led National Guard, a force with a controversial human rights record and no investigative authority.
The Bicentennial Framework mentions increasing institutional capacity to respond to homicides and reduce impunity, but it is not clear how much training and technical assistance from the United States the Mexican government will accept.