Saturday, July 18, 2015

Mexican Defense Secretary pushes back on enacted military justice reforms

El País reports, here, that the Mexican Defense Secretary, Salvador Cienfuegos, has openly criticized the military justice reform passed by the Mexican Congress. Following that reform, irregular acts by soldiers affecting civilians will be judged by ordinary courts.

That welcome reform has been met with opposition by General Cienfuegos, who argues that it subjects the armed forces to very sensitive, vulnerable, and delicate situations. According to the Defense Secretary, military personnel will no longer know whether they are being prosecuted for disobedience or for violating human rights.

The extension of military justice, or its reform, is a long-standing contentious topic in Latin America, where there have been multiple human rights abuses by the military that have been judged by military courts (e.g., "false positives" in Colombia). The reform is a step forward toward military accountability in cases of human rights violations, but in Mexico this controversy is tethered to the decision of former president Felipe Calderón (2006-2012) to fight organized crime through military means. President Enrique Peña Nieto has continued this policy.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are subject to moderation and must be submitted under your real name. Anonymous comments will not be posted (even though the form seems to permit them).