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López Obrador defends the presence of the militarized National Guard in the subway

Mexico City, Jan 13. The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, defended this Friday the deployment of nearly 6,000 elements of the National Guard, in charge of the Army, in the Mexico City subway in the face of criticism from organizations such as Amnesty International (AI).

“How are we not going to use the National Guard, if it is about protecting the people of the subway? Why not do it?”, said the president in his daily press conference.

López Obrador referred to the controversy that broke out on Thursday when the head of the Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, announced the presence of the Guard, which is now in charge of the Armed Forces, after the accident that left a young woman of 18 years dead and more than 100 injured last Saturday.

Sheinbaum justified the deployment due to “out of the ordinary episodes” such as incidents and fires in the subway, one of the largest in America for transporting almost 5 million passengers a day.

“What if they are provoked acts and that what they want is for a greater misfortune to happen? Are we not going to avoid it because they are going to say that we are militarizing the country?” López Obrador said this Friday.

Accidents in the subway have caused increasing criticism since the transportation system experienced its greatest tragedy in May 2021, when an elevated train on line 12 left 26 dead and nearly 100 injured after collapsing in the Tláhuac mayor’s office, in the east From the capital.

Now, the controversy is raging due to the presence of the National Guard, a body that López Obrador created in 2019 with the promise of keeping it civilian, but which he transferred to the Army in 2022.

For this reason, AI accused the Government of “normalizing militarization” with this measure, while other organizations considered it “worrying”, such as the Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez Human Rights Center (Centro Prodh).

The president explained that the main task of the elements will be the “presence of authority and protection for citizens, so that they do not feel alone, that they feel that there is surveillance and that they are being protected.”

“Are we going to be listening and paying attention to those who were accomplices when Mexico was really militarized and when all human rights were violated, and when massacres and torture were carried out?” he questioned. EFE

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