MEXICO CITY — Shortly before midnight Tuesday, Senate Committees approved a change to the federal constitution establishing the Mixed Command, as a measure to address complicity between municipal police and organized crime.
The Mixed Command would limit the operation of municipal police forces. State police would perform some of the functions now performed by municipal police.
The Mixed Command grew out of the Unified Command, a proposal that would have completely abolished municipal police forces. The Unified Command was introduced as a presidential initiative 18 months ago in response to the Iguala case, where municipal police were involved in the disappearance of 43 students.
The measure had the support of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), and was opposed by the National Action Party (PAN).
Mientras en el Pleno se discute el #SistemaAnticorrupcion los @SenadoresPRI intentan dictaminar en lo oscurito el #MandoMixto. Así son.
—Javier Lozano A (@JLozanoA) June 15, 2016
Enrique Burgos García, president of the Constitutional Issues Committee, said that under the mixed command, the three levels of government — federal, state and municipal — will retain police powers.
He added that there will still be possibilities for agreements between states and municipalities.
The measure was approved with the absence of PAN senators, which angered the PAN. PAN Senator Fernando Yunes Márquez said that passing the law violated Senate rules, and that the session itself was illegal. Yunes Márquez said that the Justice Committee, of which he is president, could not have voted legally without him convening a session.
PRI Senate Leader Emilio Gamboa Patrón defended the session.
“No one can say that the Senate can’t pass the Mixed Command just because of the PAN,” he said. “There are 128 senators here, and the majority makes the decision.”
Senate President Roberto Gil Zuarth, of the PAN, said that in the first minutes of Wednesday, he had still not received any documentation of the votes from the committees.
“I can’t decide on the legality of the legislation until I get documentation of the votes,” said Gil Zuarth. “But when I receive that documentation, I will analyze the legality of the legislative session.”