Latin America

AMLO security moves could backfire in many ways

The Mexican president's militarization push doubles down on a security policy proven unsuccessful. The move is driving a wedge in the opposition now, but could revive it in the longer term

amlo security moves
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (center), flanked by Navy Commander Rafael Ojeda (right), and Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval. Photo: Sáshenka Gutiérrez/EFE/Folhapress

Elected in 2018 promising “hugs, not bullets,” Mexican President Andrés Manuel “AMLO” López Obrador came into office with a pledge to end the country’s long, expensive, and ineffective war on drugs. 

However, well into the second half of his term, AMLO appeared to openly turn his back on his pacifist agenda and this month proposed a popular consultation to determine the period in which the Mexican Army would remain in charge of the country’s public security issues, saying he is personally in favor of extending the Armed Forces’ mandate until 2028.

Less than a U-turn, this push for militarization...

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