On parade in Guadalajara, September 2012
Despite incessant criticisms of and allegations of human rights violation by the Mexican army, a just published survey indicates that military forces in this country enjoy far greater respect than any other national institution, exceeding even that of the powerful Roman Catholic Church.
Almost 81% of survey respondents reported that they have confidence in the ejército mexicano, while 80% expressed the same feeling for marine units. Both remain heavily involved in Mexico's 86 month old drug war, launched in Dec. 2006 by then PAN president Felipe Calderon Hinojosa. The former chief executive has been heavily criticized at home and abroad for utilizing military forces in domestic policing, but Institutional Revolutionary Party president Enrique Peña Nieto is following a virtually indistinguishable strategy, even expanding upon the use of the army in drug war operations.
Some international organizations continue to maintain that Mexican military forces have committed indiscriminate killings during drug war operations, and are responsible for the disappearance of many citizens. Evidence in support of both claims is extremely anemic. Hype is always present in Mexico's drug war, especially when Human Rights Watch comes to town.
Compared with the military, the Roman Catholic Church received only a 68% confidence rating in the survey, despite the fact that about 80% of Mexicans consider themselves Catholic. Mexico's Federal Police, also at the vanguard of the drug war, got a mere 50% approval rate in the survey. Peña Nieto is enlarging the ranks of the Federal Police by 35,000, as well as creating a national gendarmerie of 40,000 officers which will make its debut in July. The Calderón strategy, under the tricolor banner.
With respect to domestic security duties, 53% of survey respondents said they fully support military involvement, while 32% support it with limitations and restrictions. Eleven percent reported they were opposed.
Mexican public officials received far lower scores on the survey. Senators, representatives in the House of Deputies, prosecutors and judicial ministers of the supreme court all received ratings of under 50%.
The survey was conducted by Gabinete de Comunicación Estratégica, a private pollster.
Feb. 1, 2013 - Human Rights Watch's latest condemnation of Mexican drug war reveals how little it understands conflict
July 16, 2013 - Mexican army shines again in Treviño Morales takedown
Feb. 22, 2014 - Mexico nabs El Chapo Guzmán after 13 years
Feb. 22, 2014 - Enrique finally gets the Biggest Enchilada
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