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Take a good look at my face

23 May 2009

It isn’t only the cubrabocas that are coming off.  The Secretary of Defense has issued orders for the 9th Military Zone (which includes Sinaola) that soldiers on assignment will not be allowed to wear ski-masks (pasamontañas) or put duct-tape over their name badge while on duty.

Noé Sandoval Alcázar, the commander of the Sinaloa region, said that this was to avoid two problems.  Gangsters have been known to use army surplus uniforms while committing crimes (and the quasi-military look favored by gangsters tends to create problems for both citizens and foreigners… as for example, when gangsters trying to cross the Rio Grande were reported as “Mexican soldiers” invading the United States a couple years ago) which does nothing for respect for the uniform by the citizenry, and… given that soldiers do sometimes abuse the citizens, it makes it a little harder for undisciplined soldiers to run amok, at least in uniform.

Given the military’s reluctance to take over police duties (the federal police can still wear masks), it is also sending a signal to the government that the miltiary does not appreciate its generally good public image being sullied with too close a connection with the lowly and often openly despised police.

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