Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Soldiers as cops in Mexico

The roles of soldiers and police officers are clearly distinct in most democratic regimes. Threats to a regime or a state can easily begin blurring that distinction.

Mexico proposes expanding army's power

"A bill that would let Mexico declare temporary states of emergency and expand the army's power in a bloody fight against powerful drug gangs drew immediate fire Thursday from human rights activists who say soldiers should not be doing the job of police.

"President Felipe Calderon's proposal, which centers on the idea of declaring drug trafficking hotspots 'domestic security' zones, would give the army access to civilian court and police files...

" By law, soldiers are limited to playing a support role for police.

"The proposal would officially place army troops at the head of anti-crime efforts in some areas – formalizing the reality that in some places the military has effectively replaced weak or corrupt local forces..."

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