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New government will recruit 50,000 youths for military, Federal Police

Young people will be invited to help 'pacify the country,' López Obrador says

The incoming federal government will launch a recruitment drive to find 50,000 new members for Mexico’s security forces, the president-elect said yesterday.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador told a press conference in Toluca, México state, that the recruitment efforts will begin on December 1, the day he will be sworn in as president, and seek to bolster the ranks of the army, navy and Federal Police.

“I’ll tell you in advance that we’re going to call for more elements for . . . all the [security] forces but a lot more, around 50,000 more elements across the country and I’m going to call on young people to help us . . . and ask for their support so that between all of us we pacify the country . . .” he said.

Good salaries and conditions as well as benefits including social security will be on offer to the new recruits, López Obrador said.

Alongside Governor Alfredo del Mazo, the president-elect explained that in México state alone 32 new task forces will operate under a single-command policing system.

“The Federal Police, military police, naval police, state police and municipal police are going to be working in these groups. There will be single command. In each coordination, there are also going to be human rights representatives from both the state and federal governments as well as civil society,” López Obrador said.

He added that he will offer more details about his security strategy in the coming days.

The leftist leader of the Morena party, who won the July 1 presidential election in a landslide, will take charge of a country that is facing the highest levels of violent crime in at least two decades.

Since 2006, successive federal governments have deployed the military to fight Mexico’s notorious drug cartels and carry out other public security tasks.

The number of troops deployed reached a 12-year peak of 52,807 last year while homicides also reached record levels.

Future public security Alfonso Durazo said in July that the incoming government would gradually withdraw the military from public security duties, suggesting that “training police [and] improving their socio-economic conditions” is a better path towards peace.

But López Obrador later moved away from the proposal, saying in August that military forces will continue to carry out public security duties on the nation’s streets for the foreseeable future because neither state or municipal police are functioning properly in the fight against crime and the Federal Police are not ready to fill the role currently performed by the army and navy.

Source: El Financiero (sp) 

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