Mexican people have been facing the abuse of power by Military and Police Brutality for many years. They have more than one reason to be sensitive about the disproportianate use of force. While the impact of Covid-19 is having a peak in the country, the tension on the streets are increasing concurrently.
For the past 14 years, Mexico had been suffering from violence in the context of Mexican Drug War. The number of deaths exceeded 120,000 and the violence on the streets have been increasing in the last years. Even though the president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador(AMLO) says “The war is over”, homicide rates (as 34,582 recorded victims) reached its peak in 2019.(1) Like some other Latin American countries, people are accusing the government for extrajudicial killings. During 2010’s, there has been critical incidents that revealed the abuse of power by security officials such as the “Ayotzinapa 43”. In 2014, after a clash with police 43 students from Ayotzinapa got arrested. The Invastigation has shown that they were handed over to “Guerreros Unidos” (United Warriors) and probably killed by them. Government of the time tried to create a linkage between students and drug cartels to justify the action of the police officers. Their effort could not reach its target, people are still accusing the officials and the government and case remains unsolved.
In 2017, Chamber of Deputies created the proposal of The Internal Security Law. Former President Nieto signed it and passed it to the Supreme Court. Anti-militarization protests took over the streets for a long time and the supreme court rejected the law. After a long process of investigation and examination the court decided that the law gives so much power to the Military Force with lack of accountability and transparency. In Mexico, big portion of society has become very sensitive about Military and Police violence. A recent development has lighted the fuse for the protests in Mexico. Following the death of George Floyd which caused massive protests in United States and the news about the death of a construction worker Giovanni Lopez under the police custody created massive protests on the streets. On May 4th, Giovanni Lopez was allegedly taken into custody because he did not wear a mask and on 4th of June, the news about his death due to police brutality has fall like a bombshell . While the tension is rising everyday, a group of protestors wants President AMLO’s removal.
If we flashback to the previous month, On 3rd of April, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said that Covid-19 is like a ring to the finger for Mexico.(1) By saying that, he argued that it fits to Mexico as it would help the transition and innovation of Mexico. After this public gaffe, people have started to protest on the streets of Mexico cities. The protests were organized by the National Citizen Front which found by the leaders of three political parties. They are accusing the President by establishing a communist dictatorship. The protestors made a car convoy on the main streets of several cities. The vehicles displayed posters with messages such as “AMLO, Out!” “AMLO, Resign. You Don’t Own Mexico”. The “You Don’t Own Mexico” poster is explaining the view of opposition for AMLO. The opposition blames AMLO for the overuse of authoritarian mechanisms in recent years. The protests was slowing down with the rising impact of Covid-19 but the scene has dramatically changed in 4th of June with the news about Giovanni Lopez.
Now, the tension have been rising to an higher level everyday as well as the violence between police and people. Since 2007, all of the Presidents have been tend to give extra powers and extra tolerance to the security officials such as military and police with the aim of having more control on the drug cartels but there have been lots of incidents on last two decades which exemplifies the abuse of power by the officials. Now people in Mexico are uprising with the suffer of the years and continous violation of their rights and freedom.