Defense chief criticized for his words supporting the “fourth transformation”
National Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval has come under fire after publicly expressing his support for the “transformation” that President López Obrador and his government are leading in Mexico.
Speaking at a ceremony Saturday to mark the 111th anniversary of the start of the Mexican Revolution, Sandoval said the “fourth transformation” currently underway has the nation’s best interests at heart.
In this regard, it is like the three previous transformations, he said, referring to the independence of Spain, the liberal reforms of the 19th century and the revolution.
Despite differences of opinion over the federal government – colloquially known as 4T for “fourth transformation” – Mexicans must unite and support the “national project” it is implementing, Sandoval said.
López Obrador has given the military a leading role in the transformation it claims to be carrying out, assigning it a series of non-traditional tasks such as public safety, infrastructure construction and management of ports and customs offices in the country.
The Minister of Defense declared that the army “will continue to put all its efforts in line with the visions and the tasks entrusted to us because we are convinced that this is the way forward for our country to continue to grow. develop”.
“… The army, air force, navy and National Guard are present throughout the country to ensure the safety of citizens, we are present where property and public safety are threatened by due to a disaster, we are present where we can contribute to actions taken to avoid corruption … [and] we are present where we are needed to support progress and well-being, ”said the army chief.
“… Being able to contribute to transformation … is a badge of honor,” Sandoval said before echoing the president’s claim that the groundwork for such a monumental change has already been laid.
He said the actions of López Obrador and his administration forge a “freer” and “more democratic” Mexico and respond to “the legitimate needs of the majority of Mexicans”.
“… At the dawn of the second half of administration and in the context of the 111th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, soldiers, marines and members of the National Guard affirm our loyalty [to the president] and the commitment to continue to work with honesty, integrity, discipline and professionalism in the projects entrusted to us, ”said Sandoval.
At the same ceremony, López Obrador declared that members of the armed forces are loyal to the constitution and government institutions. Two years ago, there was speculation that there was a rift between the upper ranks of the armed forces and López Obrador, leading military leaders to swear loyalty to the president during the 2019 Mexican Revolution ceremony.
“They [members of the armed forces] did not belong and will not belong, I am sure, to the oligarchy. They come from below, their origin and identity are deeply Mexican, ”AMLO said on Saturday.
“A soldier is an ordinary man in uniform, which is why he does not betray the people and he will never betray freedom, justice and democracy. The Mexican soldier will never betray the homeland, ”he declared.
Sandoval’s remarks drew criticism from academics and lawmakers. Catalina Pérez Correa, professor of law and researcher at the Center for Research and Education in Economics, described as “very worrying” her support for 4T and her appeal to all Mexicans to support its political project.
“I have no recollection of a general openly supporting a political project in this way,” she wrote on Twitter, saying the army chief’s remarks were even worse given the power that has held him down. been assigned.
Jacobo Dayán, a criminal law expert, said it was “regrettable” and “very worrying” that the armed forces expressed their explicit support for one side of politics and that Sandoval called on Mexicans to join the 4T.
National Action Party senator Lily Téllez and independent senator Emilio Álvarez were also critical.
“Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval sided with the 4Ts. What a pity, ”Téllez wrote on Twitter.
Álvarez said on the same platform that the armed forces had shown that they were “no longer a neutral state institution” but rather a “4T stronghold”.
“Sandoval’s call to join 4T is worrying,” he added.
With reports from El Universal and Latinus