Six thousand National Guard troops will be sent to the country’s border with Guatemala in order to curb immigration, reported the BBC. This is the result of marathon negotiations with the United States to avoid being hit with tariffs that could reach up to 25 percent.
The agreement which was signed on Friday, June 7, also requires the Mexican government to expand the initiative to return asylum seekers from the U.S. border to Mexico while they wait for their claims to be processed.
And earlier this week, Ebrard announced that the government had already started deploying some of the six thousand troops to the Mexico-Guatemala border. He stated that the efforts to reduce migration would be re-evaluated in mid-July.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador came to office in December 2018 promising to form a National Guard, comprised of both civilian and military forces, in an attempt to curb the country’s high levels of violence. At the end of May, the Mexican Senate unanimously approved the new structure and regulations for the National Guard to be rolled out across the country.
Many have already been deployed in eight of the most dangerous states in the country, namely Guanajuato, Michoacán, Jalisco, Estado de México, Ciudad de México, Veracruz, Guerrero and Morelos, with around 450-600 officers stationed in each region.
According to Mexican news outlet Excelsior, the Secretary of Public Security, Alfonso Durazo, said that the National Guard will grow to around 150,000 members within the next six years.
Frances Jenner is currently a writer at Latin America Reports and is based in Medellín, Colombia, covering violence, minority rights and politics. She has lived in Vietnam, Spain and France, and her work has been published on The Next Web and The Bogota Post.