President López Obrador used his Revolution Day speech to praise the armed forces and assert that he still commands the support of the Mexican people.
“If we were not supported by the majority of Mexicans, and especially by the poor, the conservatives would have defeated us or we would have had to submit to their whims and interests,” he said.
AMLO’s address opened a three-hour ceremony to mark the 112th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, and was followed by a military parade. In the speech, AMLO reflected on Mexico’s history — from the pre-Revolution dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz to military coup that overthrew Francisco I. Madero’s moderate Revolutionary administration in 1913 — and asserted that democracy would always triumph over authoritarianism.
“The Revolution left us several lessons, but there are two major teachings: one is that dictatorships or oligarchies do not guarantee peace or social tranquility; and the other is that democratic governments can only be successful if they meet the demands of the majority and get the support of the people in return,” he said.
AMLO also used the address to thank the current military for its loyalty. He emphasized that, unlike other countries in Latin America, the Mexican armed forces are drawn from the common people rather than the oligarchy.
Referring to that extend the use of the military in policing tasks until 2028 while the National Guard consolidates under the Secretariat of Defense, AMLO pushed back against criticisms that his administration has pushed further militarization of Mexican public life.
“In this new transformation, as in its origins, there is a close and fraternal coexistence between the uniformed people and the civilian people,” he said.
He also defended the military’s human rights record, which has been under renewed scrutiny following a report by the Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts (GIEI) that for withdrawing arrest warrants against several military members allegedly implicated in the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa in 2014.
“The good of this military institution is greater than its errors or stains, many of them not attributable to the military commanders, but rather to the civilian governments that have misused them on some occasions; they have used the armed forces to repress the people,” AMLO said.