Join us to hear from our speaker Gustavo A. Flores-Macías (Cornell University) who will present a project titled "The Consequences of Militarized Policing for Human Rights: Evidence from Mexico" The abstract is below.
Abstract: What are the consequences of the militarization of public safety? Governments across the world are increasingly relying on the armed forces for domestic policing, but the study of this phenomenon's consequences for human rights has been neglected. We study the consequences of militarization for human rights with evidence from Mexico, where the armed forces have been widely deployed along with civilian police to provide public safety since 2006. To do so, we merge municipal-level time series of human-rights abuse complaints with data on military operations and follow matching and difference-in-difference strategies for inference. We find that abuse complaints against federal security forces increase as a result of militarization by 160%, compared to the average complaint rate in non-treated municipalities—and a temporary effect persists after military intervention. We also leverage military deployments to natural disaster-stricken areas and joint operations with Federal Police to show that the increase in complaints is due to the military’s participation in public safety and not because of more personnel deployed or higher reporting in their presence. Further, we find that the military has not improved its performance over time in municipalities where it has conducted multi-year operations. These results have broad implications for our understanding of punitive populism, militarization, and police reform more broadly.