The lower house of Congress approved four laws last night that were necessary for the functioning of the new National Guard, paving the way for the force to begin operating across the country.
At his daily press conference Friday morning, President López Obrador announced that the National Guard will be operating nationwide by June 30.
“Although it is already operating in some states, the national, formal operation will begin on June 30,” he said.
He added that training courses for members of the guard have already started.
The initiative to create the new security force won the support of all the major political parties and the related secondary legislation was approved nearly unanimously by the Chamber of Deputies. Only independent Deputy Lucía Rojas voted against them.
Opposition deputies criticized specific parts of the legislation while supporting it in general.
Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, leader of the National Action Party in the lower house, expressed his reservations about the National Guard after voting in favor of the legislation.
“We’re worried about the treatment of migrants, who aren’t included in records of arrested people,” he said. “We’re worried about the impact it will have on the budget.”
René Juárez of the Institutional Revolutionary Party demanded that the guard be given the resources it needs to improve security.
“The government wanted the National Guard, now it has it,” he said. “Now Mexicans want results.”
Another issue that worried legislators is that the force will be able to intercept communications with the permission of a judge.
Under the legislation, army soldiers or navy marines who become part of the National Guard must leave the military institutions and subject themselves to civilian command.
Over the next 18 months, the Federal Police will be dissolved and its officers will be incorporated into the guard.