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Mexico: A fascist group called TECOS (Educational and Cultural Work towards Order and Synthesis); membership and recruitment methods; its relationship to FEMACO (Mexican Federation of Anti-Communist Students) and to the FEJ (Jalisco Students Federation); the latter's affiliation to the newspaper Ocho Columnas [Ochocolumnas]; ill-treatment of TECOS members who have refused to resort to violence against opposition; and status of the organization (1970-1999)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 July 1999
Citation / Document Symbol MEX32297.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Mexico: A fascist group called TECOS (Educational and Cultural Work towards Order and Synthesis); membership and recruitment methods; its relationship to FEMACO (Mexican Federation of Anti-Communist Students) and to the FEJ (Jalisco Students Federation); the latter's affiliation to the newspaper Ocho Columnas [Ochocolumnas]; ill-treatment of TECOS members who have refused to resort to violence against opposition; and status of the organization (1970-1999), 1 July 1999, MEX32297.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aaab20.html [accessed 2 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

Various sources suggest that Tecos is a short version of Tecolotes, plural of a Mexican term meaning "owl;" however, Mexican slang also uses the long term to refer to uniformed policemen (Jiménez May 1977). No expanded meaning or use of Tecos as an acronym could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

The only report found within the time constraints of this Response that provides an historic reference and links an "extreme right" organization called "Tecos" to a Mexican Federation of Anti-Communist Students (FEMACO) is published by an "alternative media" Internet Website and reproduced in various other "alternative" Websites such as Arm The Spirit, AlterNet and the Antifa Info Bulletin (Burghardt 19 June 1999). The document is an historic account of  an alleged extensive network of connections between United States and foreign fascists, nazis and neo-nazis, ultra-conservatives, the CIA and other organizations and groups. No corroboration of this account could be found among other sources consulted by the Research Directorate. The report, which can be found at , provides the following statements on Tecos and FEMACO:

An off-shoot of Ordine Nuovo was the terrorist group, the Armed Revolutionary Nuclei (ARN), responsible for the 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station which killed 85 people. The notorious neo-fascist killer, Stefano delle Chiaie, the ARN architect of the Bologna massacre, attended the pivotal 1980 conference of the WACL-affiliated, Latin American Anti-Communist Confederation (CAL), held in Buenos Aires at the height of the "dirty war" against the Argentine left.

CAL was the organizational expression of a little-known group of Mexican neo-Nazis, the Tecos or "owls," centered at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara. Founded by Third Reich collaborator Carlos Cuesta Gallardo, the Tecos have created several anti-communist front groups which include the Mexican Anti-Communist Federation (FEMACO) and the Inter-American Confederation of Continental Defense (IACCD). These "men of action" were drawn from the ranks of the Mexican secret police, military officers, wealthy landowners and industrialists.

Tecos leader, Raimundo Guerrero, was recruited into the organization by Gallardo. According to Anderson and Anderson, the Tecos have close links with the remnants of the Romanian Iron Guard fascists of Horia Sima in Spain. The group publishes the anti-Semitic magazine, Replica. Serving as a liaison among right-wing death squads throughout Latin America, the Tecos joined WACL in 1972. But the Tecos are more than a collection of aging Nazis; investigative journalist Manuel Buendia, was assassinated in Mexico City after publishing a three-part series exposing "Los Tecos" in 1984. (ibid.)

A La Jornada article of 16 May 1999 reports that an influential businessman who supports the future presidential candidacy of PRI figure Francisco Labastida was, in his youth, a militant of the University Anticommunist Front (Frente Universitario Anticomunista), reportedly a far-right group that operated in the state of Puebla in the 1960s and 1970s, and was linked to the Catholic Opus Dei, University Movement of Renewal Guidance (Movimiento Universitario de Renovadora Orientación, MURO) and the Tecos of the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara (Autonomous University of Guadalajara, UAG) (La Jornada 16 May 1999).

Various articles in La Jornada refer to los tecos as a far-right or "ultraconservative" movement (ultraderecha) centred at the UAG. The UAG-based newspaper Ochocolumnas is described as being the mouthpiece or representative of the interests of the tecos, in turn described as the ultraderecha of Guadalajara (La Jornada 26 Jan. 1999).

References were also found to Tecos as the name of the soccer team of the UAG. Both the UAG and the Tecos soccer team are reportedly owned by businessman Juan José Leaño Alvarez del Castillo (La Jornada 3 Aug. 1998). The Website of the UAG has links to the Tecos soccer team and to the newspaper Ochocolumnas  (see ).

The "intensity" of the far-right of the UAG tecos was reportedly described in various newspaper columns by Manuel Buendía (La Jornada 23 Oct. 1997), an investigative journalist murdered in 1984. The Burghardt report cited above states that Manuel Buendía "was assassinated in Mexico City after publishing a three-part series exposing 'Los Tecos' in 1984." Biographical overviews of the journalist published by the Mexican free-press advocate Fundación Buendía do not attribute responsibility for his assassination, but state that Buendía exposed "invisible powers" that linked the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with Mexican secret far-right societies, and suggest that the authorities did not properly investigate his murder (Monsivais 25 Jan. 1999; Martinez de la Vega 25 Jan. 1999). One of the commentaries describes los tecos as a standard-bearer for "groups of a primitive religious fanatism mixed with fascist obsessions" (ibid.).

Recent journalistic references to los tecos mention it as the political undercurrent of the UAG, and one of many far-right movements that have joined the Partido Accion Nacional (PAN). One such article refers to an "abysmal difference" between the far-right UAG and its tecos, and the Universidad de Guadalajara (University of Guadalajara, UdeG or UDG) (ibid. 10 Aug. 1998), while another refers to los tecos of the UAG as "obsoletely anti-communist" and overtly supportive of a future presidential candidacy of PAN leader Vicente Fox (La Jornada 2 Oct. 1998).

A report on the internal political divisions within the PAN states that a number of "right and far-right" groups, including the Tecos of the UAG, began joining the party in the mid-1970s; their presence became increasingly important within PAN, creating a conflict between the PAN "old guard" and the neopanistas3/4a generation of younger, richer and allegedly less civic-minded businessmen with greater political ambitions (La Jornada 4 Mar. 1996).

In March 1996 a neopanista figure discussed the internal conflicts of the party in an interview with La Jornada, mentioning that a group whose members joined the PAN, the Desarrollo Humano Integral A.C. (DHIAC), had been unfairly identified with the group MURO (25 Mar. 1996). The politician stated that in the 1970s the heads of neighbours' committees (comités de vecinos) who supported the governor of Jalisco had been members of the Tecos, adding that the Tecos had criticized DHIAC as being a political arm of MURO (ibid.). The PAN figure explained the conflict between Tecos and Muros (MURO militants), who had had previous affinity, as a consequence of the Second Vatican Council: until then, the common denominator of Tecos and Muros had been the "concept of Catholic Action" which guided parishes into civic and political involvement, but the Second Vatican Council indicated that parishes could only be involved in spiritual matters, while other activities should be left to lay people (ibid.). The PAN figure states that the Tecos, with monsignor Joaquín Sainz Arriaga as their spiritual guide, decided to ignore this dictum of the Concilium, while MURO abided by it (ibid.).

Although recent references to the Jalisco Students Federation (Federación de Estudiantes de Jalisco, FEJ) involvement in student and cultural activities at the UAG were found (see, for example, UAG news bulletin, May 1999, at ), no references to links between FEJ, FEMACO and the Tecos political movement could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please see below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this information request.

References

Burghardt, Tom. n.d. San Francisco, Bay Area Coalition for Our Reproductive Rights (BACORR). "A Small Circle of Friends: Larry Pratt, the Council for Inter-American Security and International Fascist Networks." [Accessed 16 July 1999]

Fundación Manuel Buendía, Mexico City. 25 January 1999. Francisco Martinez de la Vega. "Un hombre, una huella, un ejemplo." [Accessed 19 July 1999]

_____. 25 January 1999. Carlos Monsivais. "Manuel Buendía: La lucha contra los poderes invisibles." [Accessed 19 July 1999]

La Jornada [Mexico City]. 16 May 1999. Roberto Gonzalez Amador. "En los 70, García Suárez formó parte de un movimiento 'desestabilizador'." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 26 January 1999. Julio Hernandez Lopez. "Astillero." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 2 October 1998. Julio Hernandez Lopez. "Astillero." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 10 August 1998. Julio Hernandez Lopez. "Astillero." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 3 August 1998. "Cuatro de los citados, entre los más ricos del mundo, según Forbes." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 23 October 1997. Julio Hernandez Lopez. "Astillero." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 25 March 1996. Mireya Cuéllar. "Cuando llegaron los ultras, el PAN empezó a ganar: diputado Espino." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

_____. 4 March 1996. Mireya Cuellar and Nestor Martinez. "Empresarios y ultras, al asalto del poder: vieja guardia del PAN." [Accessed 20 July 1999]

Additional Sources Consulted

El Universal [Mexico City]. Internet Search Engine. 1997-99.

Latin American Regional Reports: Mexico & NAFTA Report [London]. 1994-99.

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. 1989-99.

Mexico NewsPak [Austin, Tex.]. 1994-99.

Electronic sources: Internet, IRB Databases, Global NewsBank, Refworld, WNC.

Note: This list is not exhaustive. Country and subject-specific books available in the Resource Centre are not included.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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