The National Security Commissioner said accusations that the new Internal Security Law (LSI) is designed to militarize the country are “absurd.”
Renato Sales Heredia said it was equally nonsensical that the new legal framework might launch a process through which the military will replace other agencies in the fight against crime, as some detractors have claimed.
The commissioner pointed out that there were just 44 complaints of human rights violations against the Army and Navy during 2016.
“I’ve heard many critics say that the country is to be militarized, and that’s truly absurd. The least we can do [through the implementation of LSI] is to offer the armed forces a legal framework that directs their actions,” Sales said in an interview for Milenio TV, to be aired on Sunday.
He also explained that another of the goals of the new law is to create capable state and municipal police departments so that at some point in the future it will no longer be necessary to call upon the Army or the Navy to fight crime.
When local security forces find themselves incapable of dealing with crime and the presence of the military is needed, Sales continued, the LSI offers legal certainty to Army and Navy personnel, because their intervention in conflicts with organized crime will be carried out through well established mechanisms.
The military has played a major role in the war against drugs and organized crime.
Sales said the LSI “indicates how, when, where and why the federal armed forces are to intervene in any given state.”
As the Interior Security Law continues to be discussed in Congress, where officials hope it will become law by the middle of the month, detractors continue to raise their voices.
Alfredo Lecona Martínez of the collective Security without War (Seguridad sin Guerra) told Milenio TV that the country does need an interior security law, just not one with the characteristics of the bill under debate.
Lecona said one of the collective’s points of contention was that the LSI gives the office of the president full discretionary use of the armed forces.
Political analyst Juan Ibarrola Carreón said the country is already militarized, because it is the armed forces that have been tasked with public security operations, natural disaster relief response, and reforestation, health and food campaigns.
Source: Milenio (sp)