Civil-Military Relations in Mexico: A Way Ahead
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Mexico is currently in the process of transitioning to a democracy after over 71 years of rule by the Institutional Revolutionary Partys PRI authoritarian regime. The PRI lost their grip on power in Mexico in 2000 when President Fox was the first non-PRI president elected in over seven decades. During this period of PRI rule, the Mexican military and the PRI leadership operated under an implicit pact that secured the militarys loyalty to the PRI party in return for high levels of autonomy free from civilian interference. While Mexico is now attempting to consolidate its democratic gains over the last decade, the military still enjoys an unhealthy amount of autonomy and freedom from civilian control and oversight. This paper discusses the current relationship between civilian and military leaders in Mexico, and how the lack of effective civilian control poses a risk to Mexicos democratic future. For Mexico to achieve its democratic aspirations, the Mexican armed forces must be subject to civilian authorities, both in the executive and legislative branches of government. This paper argues that to improve and institutionalize civilian control of the military, Mexico must establish a civilian-led Ministry of Defense MoD that is accountable to the government. The paper provides arguments on how the establishment of a MoD and increased legislative oversight will improve the civil-military relationships that are required of an effective democracy.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Forces and Organizations