AMERICA/MEXICO - The Bishops' reflection: "Internal security law"

Thursday, 7 December 2017 democracy   bishops   politics   violence   human rights

Chilpancingo (Agenzia Fides) - "It is necessary to adequately train federal, state and municipal police in order to put an end to insecurity in Mexico, but this goal has failed, there are no trained and efficient police. If the state is not capable of offering security through ordinary police, why should they use the Army? Police training is a task that the State should do, and do it well". This is what Mgr. Salvador Rangel Mendoza, OFM, Bishop of the Diocese of Chilpancingo-Chilapa, Guerrero, highlighted with regards to violence and insecurity.
"What we need now", the Bishop continues in an interview with Vida Nueva Digital "is to purify, certify, instruct the police. This would be the right way, and not create a corporation of the army with special powers".
On November 30, the "Internal Security Law" was approved by the Chamber of Deputies: the provision authorizes the use of armed forces for public security and social peacekeeping tasks. However, public opinion interprets the legislative act in the context of the upcoming elections. Peña Nieto’s initiative, 6 chapters and 31 articles, establishes that the internal security law is one of the main branches of the law on national security, thus implying the possibility that the President of the Republic makes use of all the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) to deal with the phenomena that have an impact on internal public order.
Mgr. Salvador Rangel believes that this law was made quickly and without consultations in order to allow the President of the Republic to decide where the armed forces can attack, while "in a democracy there must be a balance between the different institutions".
The Bishop also pointed out that the military forces have a very specific purpose, defend the homeland from enemies, and the military are therefore trained, instructed to attack, for war, while "on their behalf, the police forces have to carry out more precautionary work". The law on internal security still needs to be approved by the Senate of the Republic, which is why Mgr. Rangel has called the senators to listen to the voice of the people: "they are representatives of the people, they should listen well to their reasons, against and in favor".
Mgr. Salvador Rangel Mendoza on several occasions witnessed the total lack of security for the people and complete powerlessness of the authorities to deal with corruption at all levels (see Fides, 12/06/2017).
The Bishop of Chilpancingo-Chilapa is a missionary who takes care of his flock and his priests. On 28 May he openly admitted to having come to some agreement regarding matters which the authorities are no longer able to control, for example security.Not even the clergy there and in other parts of the country escape this terror … Many priests in the remotest areas of the country, being soft targets, are pressured by organized crime gangs and hampered in their mission of evangelisation, warned, under life threat, not even speak of ‘drug trafficking’", (see Fides 12/06/2017). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 07/12/2017)