Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Another branch of government in Mexico?

Is the Mexican army an administrative branch of government that operates beyond the rule of law?

Body Count Points to a Mexican Military Out of Control
In the history of modern war, fighters are much more likely to injure their enemies than kill them.

But in Mexico, the opposite is true…

In many forms of combat between armed groups, about four people are injured for each person killed, according to an assessment of wars since the late 1970s by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Sometimes, the number of wounded is even higher.

But the body count in Mexico is reversed. The Mexican Army kills eight enemies for every one it wounds…

And yet the military remains largely untouched, protected by a government loath to crack down on the only force able to take on the fight. Little has been done to investigate the thousands of accusations of torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings that have mounted since former President Felipe Calderón began his nation’s drug war a decade ago…

Some critics call the killings a form of pragmatism: In Mexico, where fewer than 2 percent of murder cases are successfully prosecuted, the armed forces kill their enemies because they cannot rely on the shaky legal system…

The unique relationship between the military and the government dates back more than 70 years, to the period after the country emerged from civil war. To maintain stability, historians say, the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party reached a pact with the armed forces: In exchange for near total autonomy, the military would not interfere in politics.

Unlike many nations in Latin America, Mexico has never suffered a coup…

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