World in View: Mexico Notes, May-June 2023

June 16, 2023

From the May-June 2023 issue of News & Letters

by Eugene Walker

Immigration Detention

In the last ten years Mexico has increased five-fold the number of migrants it has detained, particularly at the behest of the U.S.: from 88,000 a year a decade ago to 450,000 now. (See “Capitalism profits off immigrants’ woes,” p. 11.)

President Lopez Obrador  and the Armed Forces

Migrants in the caravan get a lift from friendly truck drivers on their trek across Mexico. Photo: Alfredo López Casanova.

Mexico’s President keeps developing a closer relationship with the army and navy. This, despite strong evidence of their involvement in extrajudicial murders and illegal spying. Most recently he has put the Guardia Nacional, the force he created to replace the Federal Police, directly under the control of the army.

The army has for several years stonewalled every attempt to investigate its role in the disappearance of the 43 students of Ayotzinapa. The president says nothing.

Now evidence has come forth that the President’s most senior official on human rights, Alejandro Encinas’ phone was invaded by the Pegasus spyware. Encinas has been investigating the army’s role in the students’ disappearances. The only agency licensed with Pegasus spyware in Mexico is the army.

The President and His Projects

Lopez Obrador is a strong believer in large developmental projects for Mexico: a mega-project of the “Mayan train” in southern Mexico is invading Indigenous communities; a new airport outside Mexico City; a huge oil refinery; a thermo-electric plant.

To insulate these projects from opposition, he has designated them as “national security projects,” shielded from investigation. The Supreme Court recently declared such a designation unconstitutional. But Lopez Obrador, not to be deterred, promptly issued a new declaration of “national security.” And so it goes.

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