(Expansion) – According to the RAE, there are two meanings of the verb camouflage: 1) conceal the presence of weapons, troops, war material, ships, etc., giving them an appearance that can deceive the enemy, and 2) conceal giving something the aspect of something else.
Both meanings fit perfectly with the current administration because there is a brutal increase both in the number of members of the armed forces (and their activities) and a permanent need to ‘have other data’ compared to even official government figures. The National Guard became dependent on the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) and, with this, the Federal Police is finished.
Camouflage – a uniform worn by both the military and members of the National Guard – is the new Pantone of the country’s internal security.
Despite the fact that during his campaigns to reach the presidency, Andrés Manuel López Obrador promised to return the army to its barracks and strengthen local security units (municipal and state police), today there are more uniformed officers than in previous six-year terms. “I changed my mind,” was his defense when he sent his bill to transfer the National Guard to Sedena, a fast-track procedure in which, incidentally, he dealt a blow to the PRI opposition.
Four years after assuming the presidency, far from demilitarizing the country, he has become the official who has given the most powers and resources to the armed forces. Because only the soldiers who were in the National Guard joined the Army. There are 23,000 members of the extinct Federal Police who became unemployed.
The excuse of increasing the military presence is due to the spiral of violence and insecurity that has only grown so far this six-year term. But it has not only given this function, but many others (34 new ones, to be precise) to Sedena: from the logistics of vaccines against COVID-19, through the construction of airports and branches of the Banco del Bienestar, the administration of customs, migration control and even the administrative control of the Mayan Train and the Transisthmian corridor.
The president of hugs and not bullets camouflaged his message: he does not speak of militarization but of “the people in uniform.” AMLO, a person who also waved the flag of respect for human rights, forgot (or camouflaged) data that does not leave the Armed Forces in a good light.
According to Amnesty International, “homicides have increased 218% between 2006 and 2022; in 16 years, more than 100 people who worked as journalists have been murdered and more than 97% of the more than 105,000 disappeared people occurred after December 2006”. From 2014 to date, the CNDH has received at least 6,661 complaints for serious violations committed by Sedena, Semar and the National Guard.
But we must be clear (without camouflage): the Army is not a police force, it should not replace the police. Public security (whoever watches over your safety and mine) must be a civil command corporation because crime is a social issue, not a military one.
It should be clear that the functions of the Army are to defend the territory and national sovereignty from external attacks, implement emergency plans in case of disasters and act when internal security is threatened. And again, do not camouflage internal security with public security. The first is the one that threatens the functioning of the institutions and we are not in that situation.
The official and daily narrative of ‘we have other data’, which has collided a thousand times with official and verifiable numbers, is a narrative of camouflage, of always giving the appearance of something else. That narrative of “it is for the common good” and of filling the streets of the country with camouflaged uniformed men to attack a crime problem is also camouflaging a problem that he was unable to control and a campaign promise that he did not hesitate to break.
Editor’s note: Barbara Anderson is a business and finance editor, columnist, and speaker. Disability rights activist; He runs yotambien.mx, a news site about inclusion. Follow her on Twitter as The opinions published in this column belong exclusively to the author.