Feature

Mexico: Inviting a military dictatorship

President Felipe Calderón’s plan to give the military more power to act against drug gangs and other internal security threats could destroy our democracy, said Lydia Cacho in El Universal.

Lydia Cacho
El Universal

Mexico is creeping toward military rule, said Lydia Cacho. President Felipe Calderón’s plan to give the military more power to act against drug gangs and other internal security threats could destroy our democracy. Don’t get me wrong: I have the greatest respect for the military. My grandfather was an officer, a good man who embodied the military’s values. He was “conservative, patriotic, religious, sexist, honest, racist, educated, and obsessed with order.”

What he was not was a democrat. And if we give the military the power to take over domestic policing, override civil authorities, and even wiretap us—all of which powers are spelled out in Calderón’s proposed law—we will have created a military regime. Our generals would not stage a coup, of course. They are “not evil,” and they have no diabolical plot. But then, they wouldn’t have to overthrow the government. They would already have “supreme authority,” and our pathetic elected officials would be mere figureheads.

We all know that Mexico has a desperate security situation. But giving the army more authority “won’t vanquish crime; it will only vanquish our freedom.”

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