The National Guard will be deployed throughout Mexico City to combat insecurity, President López Obrador announced today.
The deployment responds to rising rates of crime in the capital over the last 10 years.
“It’s clear that crime is on the rise, especially homicide, which has risen from two to six a day,” said López Obrador.
The president blamed increased crime on former Mexico City administrations, who he says tolerated organized crime.
“Gangs that once didn’t exist in the city were allowed to put down roots, and so-called organized crime groups started coming in,” he said. “I think that’s become more visible since last year, in certain parts of the city, and it’s what’s causing the problem.”
The decision to deploy troops to the capital was made after conversations between the federal government and Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
“The mayor is doing a great job, she’s working on the problem every day,” said López Obrador. “At first, we thought that sending the National Guard wouldn’t be necessary, but because of the situation, the mayor agreed that the National Guard will be deployed to all of Mexico City.”
The president did not say how many guardsmen will be sent but noted that when the Guard starts operating on Sunday, there will be a total of 70,000 troops across the country, and that the government plans to expand the ranks of the Guard to between 130,000 and 140,000.
He added that training classes for guardsmen will end on Friday.
According to a document leaked to the news agency EFE, the National Guard will number 82,747 troops by the end of 2019. About three-quarters of the Guard’s numbers will come from army and navy troops passing directly to the new security force.