Mexico City, Mexico — López Obrador has had to defend his decision to have the National Guard patrol the Mexico City metro. On Friday morning, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the Guards are there to protect city train passengers.
“The objective of the presence of National Guard elements in the facilities of the Mexico City Metro Collective Transportation System (STC) is to protect users and ensure a safe environment,” he said.
“It is the presence of authority and protection for citizens so that they do not feel alone, that they feel that there is surveillance and that they are being protected,” he explained.
At his Friday morning press conference, he pointed out that this decision by the federal government and local authorities is for the purpose of guaranteeing people’s safety.
“It has to do with giving people security. Imagine if people go into psychosis, go to the Metro – which they have to go because it is their means of transportation – and they go with fear, after all their work, all their fatigue, all their problems, they will still bring worry that there may be an accident, that there may be a problem, an attack (and) that they may be affected. The purpose is to ensure that they are not alone,” he said.
The president clarified that the deployment of National Guard personnel is not a militarization campaign, but a preventive measure and that workshops will be held and equipment provided in order to improve the service through a guaranteed budget.
“In the event that more budget is needed for the maintenance of the Metro, we are going to help, the federal government will help, but first the investigation (of the Line 3 accident) is being carried out,” he said.
President López Obrador stressed that the National Guard has a presence in the 32 federal entities. To date, he says there are 128,233 members of the corporation, which has the objective of ensuring the safety of the population.
“We already have 19 states where the number of elements of the National Guard is greater than that of state police,” he emphasized.
The federal government allocates a budget to the training and formation of elements as well as the construction of barracks to reach 594 facilities throughout the country. Jalisco and Guanajuato are the states with the most National Guard headquarters.
Currently 106,155 troops are deployed as an operational force in 266 regional coordinations.
“Everyone is cared for and, as the number of Guard elements grows, we are going to have and guarantee greater vigilance,” he said.
In December of 2021, the state of Quintana Roo began to receive more than 1,400 elements of the National Guard who continue to patrol the state as the National Guard Tourist Security Battalion.