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  • Pena Nieto signed the bill on Dec. 22 and sent it to the Supreme Court for review in a bid to ease the discontent among human rights organizations.

    Pena Nieto signed the bill on Dec. 22 and sent it to the Supreme Court for review in a bid to ease the discontent among human rights organizations. | Photo: Reuters

Opponents of the bill have taken to the streets to protest and demand the measure not be implemented.

Implementing the controversial Security Law, signed by President Enrique Peña Nieto two weeks ago, would “de facto” suspend constitutional rights, states a report issued Thursday by the Senate's Federal Institute of Telecommunications (Ifetel).

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As the law allows the armed forces to carry out “intel activities” and “resort to any legal mean to collect information” — including requesting data to individuals and not just legal entities, it will suspend the protection of personal data and persons' right not to be harassed — in person or their properties.

Via a simple request by the Army and the Marines, the Ifetel but also the National Institute of Transparency and Protection of Personal Data, the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH) and the National Electoral Institute, as well as the Congress and the Judicial Power will have the power to handle personal information.

The armed forces will not be submitted to any other control than handing reports to the President and the legislative commission on national security.

 

In case of a “threat” to national security, the President will be entitled to put the armed forces “immediately” in charge of police duties in a region or any other entity, with or without the request of local governments, without any prior procedural requirements, if the threat represents a “serious danger” to people or fundamental institutions.

The CNDH announced two weeks ago that it was challenging the bill at the constitutional court. The new law could lead to the “violation of Mexicans’ basic rights and freedoms, affect the design and constitutionally established balance between institutions, state organs and powers, and lead to states of emergency being imposed on Mexican society,” the CNDH said in a statement.

Multiple human rights groups and international organizations, including the United Nations, attacked the bill, mindful of the dozens of reported cases of abuses by members of the military in Mexico over the past 11 years. They say it could usher in greater abuses and impunity by the armed forces.


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