Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mexico Sliding Towards Militarized Police State

Mexico’s House of Deputies has brought the country to the cusp of a police state. The reform to the National Security Law now before the lower house would grant sweeping military powers to the executive and limit congressional oversight of domestic military activity. It would grant President Felipe Calderón the ability to effectively declare states of exception without congressional approval and unilaterally use the military against any group he deems to be a “threat to internal security.” Also expanded would be the surveillance powers of the army, marines and Cisen, the Center for National Security and Investigation, which would be allowed to “use any method of information collection, without in any case affecting human rights and guarantees for their protection.”

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These are only a few of the 34,000 or more people who have been murdered in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon of the right-wing National Action Party (PAN) came to power in 2006, and declared a "war" against drug trafficking. The Bush and Obama administrations have poured millions of dollars into Calderon's "war." And now it is being used as a pretext to give the armed forces and security services a dangerous amount of unaccountable power that some say could lead to a police state.

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