Mexican president backtracks on military-led National Guard

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's public security secretary says the new administration has listened to the public's concerns about the proposed National Guard and will place it under civilian authority.

Alfonso Durazo told lawmakers in Mexico's lower legislative chamber Friday that President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has changed his mind about the formation of the new crime-fighting force. Originally, Lopez Obrador had said the military would command the new National Guard.

Critics have argued that the administration is giving up on reforming civilian police forces in favor of a strategy that would keep the military in the street. Having the National Guard answering to the Public Security Ministry appears to be an acknowledgement of that criticism.

Mexico's congress is debating the proposal and constitutional reforms would be required for its formation.