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article imageMexico's AMLO to continue anti-crime military efforts

By AFP     Nov 14, 2018 in World

Mexico's president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced Wednesday he would maintain the country's controversial military efforts to fight organized crime and seek to reinforce them by creating a national guard.

Lopez Obrador, unveiling his security strategy that also included fighting police corruption, outlined a plan that would see the military, naval and federal police integrated.

Although withdrawing the military from Mexico's battle against organized crime was not a campaign promise, AMLO -- as he is known -- has been critical of the strategy, launched in 2006 by former president Felipe Calderon.

Since then, Mexico has been gripped by violence, with over 200,000 people murdered and around 37,000 missing, according to official figures.

Lopez Obrador, who will take office December 1, repeated his view against fighting "violence with violence" -- but simultaneously defended creating a national guard expected to be 50,000-strong by 2021.

The leftist added that creating the integrated force would require constitutional reform, but did not clarify when he would introduce the amendment. Days earlier, he had vowed not to introduce such reforms during his first three years in charge.

Constitutional reform needs the support of two thirds of Mexico's Congress, and although AMLO's Morena party enjoys a comfortable majority, it would require negotiation with the opposition.

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