Mexico deploys National Guard in metro after accidents

Thousands of National Guard members will be deployed in the Mexico City metro following a series of safety incidents, including a crash this month that left one person dead, officials said Thursday.

Safety concerns have shaken public confidence in a transport system used by millions of people in the congested megacity.

From Thursday, around 6,000 members of the National Guard would be present in the metro, Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum told reporters.

"Their objective is to guarantee the safety of users," she later tweeted, adding that the Guards would be unarmed.

The move comes after two metro trains collided in a tunnel Saturday, killing a young woman and injuring dozens.

It was the most serious incident since a section of elevated track collapsed in May 2021, killing 26 people and injuring dozens.

Other less serious but unusual incidents, including problems with wheels, have been reported in recent months, Sheinbaum said.

She denied they were the result of budget cuts, as alleged by critics of the mayor, who is seen as a leading candidate to replace President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador next year.

Lopez Obrador has been accused by his opponents of overseeing the "militarization" of Mexico by giving increased responsibility to the armed forces.

Commenting on the National Guard deployment in the metro, Lopez Obrador said: "If they call that militarization or whatever they call it, we assume responsibility."

Rights group Amnesty International expressed concern about the decision, calling for a "guarantee that public security tasks are carried out by civil institutions."