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Mexico: Constitutional Amendment on National Guard Enacted

(May 8, 2019) On March 26, 2019, the Mexican government published a constitutional amendment that provides for the creation of Mexico’s National Guard. (Decreto el que se reforman, adicionan y derogan diversas disposiciones de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, en materia de Guardia Nacional [Decree Amending the Constitution in the Matter of the National Guard], DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN [D.O.F.], Mar. 26, 2019, Mexican House of Representatives website.

Under this amendment, the National Guard is to be formed with officials from the Federal Police, Military Police, and Naval Police, per executive orders to be issued by the President. (Id. art. 2 transitorio.) Within 60 days of the enactment of the amendment, Mexico’s Congress is to pass a Law on the National Guard, which will regulate the Guard’s powers. (Id. art. 1 transitorio.) During this 60-day period, the National Guard will take over the investigative and law enforcement powers of Mexico’s Federal Police. (Id. art. 2 transitorio.)

The Federal Police has the power to conduct criminal investigations under the direction and command of federal prosecutors in a manner that allows the evidence gathered to be admitted in pertinent court proceedings. (Ley de la Policía Federal [Law on the Federal Police], as amended through 2011, arts. 4(VI) & 45, D.O.F., June 1, 2009, House of Representatives website.)

Under the Mexican Constitution, federal prosecutors have the authority to pursue federal criminal cases in court and present pertinent evidence therein. (CONSTITUCIÓN POLÍTICA DE LOS ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS [POLITICAL CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED MEXICAN STATES], as amended through 2019, art. 102-A(VI), D.O.F., Feb. 5, 1917, House of Representatives website.)

The Federal Police also have broad preventive policing powers, including covert operations, intelligence gathering in public places, monitoring public internet sources, and patrolling in public places subject to federal jurisdiction, such as borders, customs offices, airports, and federal buildings. (Law on the Federal Police art. 8(III), (VI), (VII), (XXXVI), (XLII).)