Adjustments in 44% of the first circle of the President

Bernardo Bátiz V.: Army and National Guard: a reflection

Bernardo Batiz V.


The President announced recently, that he would send to Congress a project of reforms to the Constitution so that the National Guard, promoted by him, would come under the Ministry of National Defense. Soon, opposition legislators, without giving any reason, without waiting for the debate, declared that they would not vote for that proposal, knowing that without their vote it would not pass. Reforming the Constitution requires a qualified majority.

They had already warned that no López Obrador project, whatever it was, would have their approval. They ignored the parliamentary process that requires a debate and exchange of reasoning, before the decision and they forgot that each legislator, in conscience and hearing pros and cons, must vote freely.

The President then said that, to achieve his purpose, he would issue a personal decree. Worse –said his critics–, he will then be violating the Constitution and will complete the militarization of the country; then, snapping their fingers, becoming anguished, they argued: Now we are in a dictatorship and we will be another Venezuela.

They recalled that in times of peace the soldiers must be in their barracks, from which they can only leave to fight the enemy, ready to kill or be killed. What this President is proposing is to militarize the country, for I don’t know what evil designs.

I make a parenthesis. A couple of old friends, years ago, discussed for a long time, I was only a witness, about the work of the military, one of them, in addition to being a first captain, had a law degree, the other was the ingenious and intelligent (already is not in this world) Eduardo Martínez de la Vega, author of some stories for accountants that should be better known.

Eduardo argued that the soldiers were parasites, that they did nothing good or useful for anyone, not even for themselves. The legal captain, somewhat annoyed, argued that the military are hard workers, they don’t stop; At dawn, before the sun rises, they get out of bed at the sound of the bugle, they clean up in a hurry, polish their boots, brush their uniforms and in a hurry, but not before leaving their beds spread out, they go out to the patio to form

From then on, the captain said, they don’t stop for a moment, they march, they exercise, they salute the flag, they go to the Ranch, they return to formation, obey their superiors and so on all day, until bedtime, which is called another loud knock. Eduardo, made the interlocutor of him out of his boxes, sarcastically asking what was the use of all this to the country, if there was no war, no riot, not even a riot.

Both, I think, were somewhat right, as is almost always the case.

It is that one of them thought about the Army of the 19th century; brave and defender with varied luck, of the territory and sovereignty, one year yes and another also; Spanish, French, English, Americans, invaded us and the armed people, converted into the Mexican Army, constantly fought for the homeland; Eduardo was thinking of the Army in the mid-twentieth century.

Still shortly before World War II, Cárdenas armed peasants and workers and then Ávila Camacho created the reserve and organized the Compulsory Military Service, for those of us who turned 18.

Since then there have been no wars and time has passed, customs and models have changed. Why, then, are the clothes torn? The Army is becoming something different from that other, heroic and sacrificed, now, it retains the same qualities, but as long as there is peace, it deals with beneficial activities for all.

For years, not so long ago, the Army was either bored in its barracks or went out to confront its own people, various protesters, students, teachers from the CNTE.

Let’s see with good eyes the change; The Army continues to train to defend the homeland, its honor, its integrity, its sovereignty. That’s what it’s for. But it’s good that you have the DN-III plan to save lives and property, and now build airports and roads; Why are we amazed that he uses his training and discipline to monitor Pemex facilities, to lay roads, to support vaccination and rescue miners?

The National Guard took its first elements, not from soldiers trained to shoot down the enemy, but from policemen, the Navy and the Defense, trained to investigate, preserve evidence and the scene of the events and carry out orders from judges. They are soldiers, but also investigators, experts and guardians of order and now, in their training courses, in addition to handling weapons, they learn human rights and gender equality.

We are making progress. Why cling to the past and think of a XIX century Army, if we are in the XXI. Why want to return to the repressive Army of Tlatelolco, if we are paving the way for a new one, builder, supportive and close to the people? It is not about militarizing the country, it is about making the Army civil and popular.

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