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Mexico presidential candidate proposes facial recognition to combat drug trafficking

Mexico presidential candidate proposes facial recognition to combat drug trafficking

Fighting between organized crime groups in Mexico has made the country more violent than Colombia in recent years. Mexico presidential candidate Marcelo Ebrard, proposed a policy of using facial recognition to combat crime.

According to the UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the homicide rate in the nation has fallen slightly since President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador began office in 2018, but remains near record highs.

“We have to take responsibility for the fact that today the main preoccupation of our people is insecurity, which does not allow us to enjoy our country as we would like,” said Ebrard at a campaign event on July 10th. Security cameras with face recognition capacities have been used  in other countries like China and India, but Ebrard has yet to outline the details on how such a system would be implemented in Mexico.

Ebrard has not addressed whether he proposed such changes in his time as a Foreign Affairs Minister for the country.

Lisa Sanchez, director of Mexico United Against Crime, said that Ebrard “is trying to put himself at the vanguard, trying to be the first, because he needs people to be talking about him and for the other candidates to be responding.” She calls it “a good public relations strategy, but it’s not a serious proposal on security.” Ebrard is seeking the nomination of the Morena party before the 2024 elections.

EU seeks Mexican data to stop drug trafficking

In March, Brussels was trying to reach an agreement with Mexico to fight drug trafficking into Europe, as the EU saw a recent increase in the circulation of narcotics – cocaine and methamphetamines in particular.

The agreement would allow for the countries to share personal data in order to fight organized crime in both Europe and the Americas, with Brussels considering similar agreements for Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

According to EU-established guidelines Brussels, Europol could exchange a wide array of data with Mexican security forces such as ethnicity, political affiliations, genetic data, biometric data and other information relating to a person’s health, sex life and sexual orientation. At this time, the European Commission has limited the exchange of information to investigations linked to a criminal offense.

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