Denouncing the appointments of members of El Yunque, an ultra-right anti-semitic movement, to the highest levels of the Mexican government, Friends of Brad Will has told key Democratic Party leaders to reject the Bush military aid package called the Merida Initiative. Friends of Brad Will is a non-government organization advocating for accountability for the murder of U.S. journalist Brad Will, who was killed by Mexican government paramilitaries in October, 2006.
Members of the group have spoken with the powerful Democrat Chairs of the Congressional Subcommittees on Foreign Operations and on Western Hemispheric Affairs, warning that President Bush’s proposed Merida Initiative would arm a Mexican Administration that has recently appointed members of El Yunque, who advocate discrimination against women, homosexuals, and Jews, to top posts. Friends of Brad Will noted the initiative would risk the democratic advances made by Mexico since the ending of one-party rule.
Luis Paredes Moctezuma, the former mayor of Puebla who claims to have spent three decades in the secret group El Yunque, declared to the Dallas Morning News in June 2007, that “El Yunque is more dangerous than the narcos.” Hundreds of Yunque members are now in the bureaucracy, and they control four state governments, he warned.
An investigative piece by journalist and feminist activist Irene Ortiz published in the January/February 2008 issue of NACLA Report on the Americas, ‘Putting Down Roots: The Latin American Right Today‘ details the history of the secretive organization dedicated to ‘eternal combat (with) the forces of Judaism, Masonry and Communism’. Açlvaro Delgado, who published a book on El Yunque in 2003, used the group’s written internal communications and the testimonies of members and deserters, to expose its determination to “create the City of God in accordance with the Gospels”.
Friends of Brad Will have joined the United Steel Workers, Witness for Peace, WESPAC and others, in opposing the Merida Initiative, dubbed “Plan Mexico” after Plan Colombia, the $7 billion military ‘drug war’ package which failed to reduce exports of coca from the strife-ridden South American nation. The Initiative would cost $1.1 billion over two years, with the overwhelming majority of money to be spent on providing U.S. military equipment and training, including helicopters and surveillance equipment, to Mexican President Calderon. Many observers, such as Global Exchange, have recognized the initiative is destined to fail, given the “drug cartel’s penetration into seemingly every facet of the Mexican police, military, and judicial system”. The last major counter-narcotics training program of Mexican military units by U.S. Special Forces resulted in the entire Mexican force – known as the Zetas – defecting to work for the narcos, taking with them state-of-the-art tactics and methods.
Friends of Brad Will is informing many Jewish, gay, and women’s rights organizations about the nature of this organization, whose members the Calderon Administration has appointed to some of its highest positions. The organization believes that the United States government should not be supporting any government which threatens to set the clock back on women’s and gay rights or on religious tolerance. This Bush ‘security’ initiative threatens to empower an ultra-right-wing government out of step with American values. The creed of El Yunque would be considered deeply offensive to most Americans (as it is to most Mexicans).
El Yunque is so secretive an organization. Nevertheless there is a general consensus about who, in the Calderon Government, is a current member of El Yunque:
The Calderon Government has at its highest cabinet level posts members of the extremist anti-semitic, homophobic, and anti-women’s rights Catholic organization known as El Yunque. Among “first-level” cabinet members, Calderón’s private secretary César Nava Vázquez is a member of the Yunque, as is the head of the National Water Commission, José Luis Luege, and the head of the National Institute of Migration, Cecilia Romero. The Secretary of Public Education, Josefina Vázquez Mota, is also said to be a yunquista but she denies it. The outgoing president of he PAN, Manuel Espino, is a member of the Yunque, as are three state governors (all PANistas), Juan Manuel Oliva, in Guanajuato; Emilio González Márquez, in Jalisco, and Marco Antonio Adame, in Morelos.
Background of El Yunque’s incursions into Mexican government since the end of the one-party state:
After his 2000 election, Fox quietly appointed many Yunque members to his cabinet. Many of these appointments were made in the Labor Department at the behest of Labor Secretary Carlos Abascal (a pro-Yunque activist who has never acknowledged his membership in the organization). Abascal was Interior Secretary throughout the Oaxaca blow up and was in close touch with corrupt and brutal Governor Ulises Ortiz Ruis, including during the action on the ground the day Brad was killed. Fox Administration Yunque members include Abascal’s private secretary, Raúl Vázquez Osorio, Undersecretary of Labor Francisco Xavier Salazar Saénz, Planning Coordinator Jesús Rivera Barroso, and the department’s budget director, Fernando Urbiola Ledezma. In addition to the Labor Department, the Department of Social Development became home for many Yunque members at the undersecretary level.
The above information was compiled from the NACLA article provided above and correspondence with journalist John Ross and senior NACLA advisor Fred Rosen. Thanks to NACLA, which has generously allowed us to offer this article to visitors to this site.