Thursday, June 13, 2019
The Guard is a hybrid organization, comprising officers from the Federal Police and members of the army and navy’s policing units, but run by civilian leadership in the Ministry of Security and Citizen Protection. That leadership is untested, and sending a 6,000-man detachment of troops to the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, without any clear policy directives or infrastructure for detaining migrants, seems to be asking for more of the grave human rights abuses, including the disappearance of minors, that the Army and Navy have been implicated in along Mexico’s northern border.
Beyond questions of corruption and abuse is the matter of simple competence. How exactly is the Guard going to stop illegal immigration from Guatemala along a porous 541-mile border that almost entirely lacks the security features of our border with Mexico? As Todd Bensman of the Center for Immigration Studies noted in a recent post, the Mexicans shouldn’t expect any help from Guatemalan officials, which they will certainly need to be effective.
“That’s because Guatemala’s leadership, border patrol, and police forces all have been neck-deep in the smuggling industry for years, despite ongoing corruption investigations and a contentious national election campaign,” writes Bensman, adding that the smuggling infrastructure in Guatemala and southern Mexico is “entrenched, dynamic, and politically connected, having grown uninhibited for decades and with citizen populations on both sides depending on it for sustenance.”
Sounds bad enough to be true.