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In the violent Guanajuato, the debate on the National Guard of Lopez Obrador does not exist

ms. Carmen heard the first shots while he was preparing some eggs with beans and a coffee. He knew that it came from the avenue, so close, just on the other sid

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In the violent Guanajuato, the debate on the National Guard of Lopez Obrador does not exist

ms. Carmen heard the first shots while he was preparing some eggs with beans and a coffee. He knew that it came from the avenue, so close, just on the other side of the door. Trying to protect themselves, he ran off to his room, at the other end of the house. It hid under the bed and stayed there for a good while. When I no longer heard shots, came. Came to the street door and opened it. In front of it, Carmen saw with horror the bodies of several people on the ground, without life. The blood. And around several patrols, police, and military. They had killed six agents of transit.


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“here was a quiet area, although before all Salamanca was quiet,” says Carmen, a fake name replaces yours on the request of the interviewee. It is not the only shooting that felt close to. Recently I was with your son in the street vendor selling chickens that manage between the two, in the wake of the shooting. “The bullets passed me skimming. I got it running in a stationery,” he says. All in less than a year.

it Is the story of Carmen, but it could be any neighbor of Salamanca, who suffer from almost two years ago, a wave of violence unparalleled. Although it might be, in reality, the history of any inhabitant of Guanajuato, formerly a state peaceful and prosperous center of Mexico, suffering now of levels of crime never seen before. And it could even be the history of almost any mexican, any who does not live in the Yucatan, or some of the few regions that remain at the margin of the crisis of insecurity that plagues the country.

Until the 31 of October in Guanajuato were committed 2.742 murders. In all of 2017 were 1.423. And in 2016, 1.096. Only in Salamanca, a city of 300,000, from January to August of this year they numbered 152 murders. And the question is do neighbors as Carmen is, what's going to happen? How can I stop this?

The historical center of Salamanca. Gladys Serrano

A few days of Andrés Manuel López Obrador inaugurated his presidency, the debate securitario raging in the media. Dozens of civil society organizations have criticized the plan of the future president to create a new security body, the National Guard, of a military character, dependent organically from the ministry of Defence. You can't fight insecurity with most military, they say.

Since Brown, the party of López Obrador, defend. First, they say that 80% of your security strategy will focus on addressing the root causes of the violence. That is, the poverty and lack of opportunities. Second, they argue that one of the problems up to now was to understand the traffic of drugs as a public safety issue and not a matter of public health. And third, blend together to create the National Guard does not imply the deepening of the militarization of the country. Everything will be under the control of the president and his secretary of Public Security, two civilians, they say.

Despite the benefits of the strategy, praised by the members of the future cabinet these last few weeks, the shadow of the National Guard prevails. Twelve years that the military began to assume the role of the police, and seen that 2018 is about to become the most violent year in the history of Mexico, the question is whether the proposal of the new Government is the correct one before the disaster.

last year, the academic Laura Atuesta published an article that analyzed the presence of the military in the streets between 2006 and 2011, the early years of the war to the drug trade driven by former president Felipe Calderon, Kaçak Bahis who left tens of thousands dead. Atuesta, a specialist in security policy, concluded that the municipalities in which the military and civilians had been faced, had suffered a further increase of the murders of 9%. Although the article is from march of 2017, and the National Guard was not even an idea, Atuesta said: “At the time we implemented the security policy of Calderón there was a lack of empirical evidence to be able to know that I would not give the expected results. But 10 years later we don't have the same excuse.”

The lawyer Santiago Aguirre, centro Miguel Agustin Pro Human Rights, points to the character hoarder of the National Guard. According to the future Government, the country will be divided into 266 regions. The National Guard will have greater or lesser presence in each one depending on the uncertainty of each region. In any case, their role will be prominent. “The proposal of the National Guard is very centralist. The control is hierarchical and does not incorporate participation schemes and improvement of state and municipal police officers. There is No incentive to strengthen the police. It is assumed that they are lost. The police will play a role of subordination”.

Asked about it, ms. Carmen does not know what is the National Guard. Although he says: “I think that there has to be more police and more military, which compose the thing. Because before I sat here at the gate house and now you don't”.

A neighbor, mr. Restrepo, taxi driver, argues: “National Guard or not, we will fall into the same thing. What we need are tougher laws”, he says, just before detailing the case of a guy that got caught with guns on the highway and, he adds, then let them go. “Military or police, they will do their job. The penalties for offenders are what is wrong.”

Manuel, another neighbor, explained that he no longer lived in Salamanca for the violence. Come and go for the job, but is living in Leon, in the other end of the state. “What The National Guard? Look at, whether [former president Felipe] Calderón tried the military and it did not work. Does not guarantee you anything from around there. Here they arrived months ago and nothing has changed”.

In January, the Government announced the arrival of 3,200 military police officers to Guanajuato, in an attempt to control the situation. And since then every week that passes is a reminder that something is not working. In September, we broke all the records of murders in the state from which there are records: 334.

Aguirre, and many others, including lawyers, academics and activists see it concerned the arrival of the guard. Reading the opinions of these and other neighbors of Guanajuato, Aguirre assumes that the only thing people want is to live in peace. “The issue of security is very emotional. In surveys we ask people, ‘do you trust the police?’ And they respond, ‘no.’ And then, ‘what would you do to improve safety?’ And they say, ‘more police’. It is so decomposed the system of administration of justice that it is difficult to propose acceptable alternatives. We have not made pedagogy to explain that the measures securit safetyarias that would work well, in the short term, may not work in the medium or long term”.

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