Most Mexicans want the Army on the streets, survey finds

The military has 60% support for patrolling on the streets, more than three times the number registered by the police; The level of confidence in the military institution is 58%, for 40% of distrust.

The Secretary of Defense said he would vote with both hands for the military to return to their barracks, but most Mexicans would not agree.

At least according to a recent survey, whose results show that 60% of respondents prefer the Army on the streets, more than three times the percentage of those who leaned toward the police (18%). Moreover, a higher level of respondents, 20%, said they would rather not have either institution.

Since the administration of President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), the security strategy has been based on sending troops on the streets to combat organized crime.

The survey reveals that the military institution has a confidence level of 58%, against 40% of distrust.

“Data from the historical series carried out by Parametría over 15 years ago show that the military confidence levels have fluctuated between 52% and 75%, figures well above those registered by other institutions such as State Police or Federal Police”, abounds the interviewer’s report. The confidence indicator for the Army had its highest point in 2012 (75%), while violence in the country -considering the murders- reached its most critical level in 2011.

The study details that since 2008 a majority prefers the Army patrolling the streets, and not the police. The data ranges from 60% to 66% of support for the military, while support for civilian corporations has been sustained in a downward trend, the lowest level being 18% in the most recent measurement.

This survey is published in the context of the discussion in the Congress of the initiatives of Internal Security Law, which seek to give legal certainty to the participation of the Armed Forces in public security work.

Some specialists and legislators have expressed their refusal to keep the military in this type of work, arguing that their training does not correspond to public safety.