After the Mexican government set the scene to sit down and have a “dialogue” with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), and after President Felipe Calderón supposedly engaged with its members, now we learn that his government has files on the movement’s leaders, including Javier Sicilia. This information is part of an extensive file that includes profiles with public and private data of the activists.
Sicilia, Álvarez Icaza, Jusidman…On File!
After the Mexican government set the scene to sit down and have a “dialogue” with the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), and after President Felipe Calderón supposedly engaged with its members, now we learn that his government has files on the movement’s leaders, including Javier Sicilia. This information is part of an extensive file that includes profiles with public and private data of the activists. This fact is unequivocal: It implies the existence of a net of surveillance that verges dangerously on espionage.
The government of Felipe Calderón ordered that everything about the leading figures of the MPJD be meticulously investigated, including Javier Sicilia and Emilio Álvarez Icaza, whose political and social activities, including personal data about them and their families, are recorded in official documents that are now in the hands of Proceso magazine.
The Secretariats of Governance and Public Safety have detailed profiles on: Sicilia; Álvarez Icaza, former head of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal District (CDHDF); Miguel Álvarez Gándara, president of Advisory Services for Peace (SERAPAZ); Clara Jusidman, founder of Social Development and Citizen’s Initiative (INCIDE Social); Miguel Concha, founder of the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Human Rights Center; and student Raúl Romero Gallardo.
All of them have played a prominent role in the movement that emerged a year ago that demands a halt to the violence that has caused roughly 60,000 deaths in the country.
Each of the profiles includes recent photographs that link the individuals to radical movements; they even show that some have links to guerrilla groups like the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) and the Popular Revolution Army (EPR), or that they have been their intermediaries.
The records of the MPJD members are dated September 27, 2011, and are part of a more extensive file – produced for the two Secretariats – that includes the confidential drafts of meetings with Felipe Calderón in Chapultepec Castle and the records of the meetings that took place between July and September in the four working groups on law enforcement, care for victims, revised strategy for public safety, and the participation mechanisms.
They also include the 288 proposals presented to the government by the MPJD, the official responses, and a report by the monitoring committee of the Chapultepec talks.
But what stands out are the profiles of the movement’s leaders, with whom the authorities discussed the need to change the police-military strategy for combating organized crime.
The record on Javier Sicilia – where he is described as “a discrete person in his political activities” – is extensive: Thirteen pages that record personal documents and information that only he or his family could know: birth certificate, number of children, schools where he studied, passport number, religion, home address, taxpayer ID, national ID, number and address of his parents and siblings (with information on their voter documents), property (house and autos, including models and license plates) and his links to church leaders, authors, politicians, and the EZLN.
The government recognizes that Sicilia is a respected intellectual in all cultural circles, that he considers himself “a deaf poet” in that it matters little to him what others say about his “Catholic poetry,” as well as that he is an environmentalist who supports the movements Guardians of the Forest of Cuernavaca, and the Civic Front for the Defense of the Casino de la Selva [Hotel].
In the section entitled “Links to the Press,” it emphasizes the media that supported (or not) Genaro García Luna, federal secretary of Public Safety, whom Sicilia called on to resign in a rally in the Zócalo Plaza in Mexico City on May 8, 2011.
Those rejecting Sicilia’s demand were: Carlos Marín, Ciro Gómez Leyva and Héctor Aguilar Camín, from Milenio Diario; Carlos Ramírez, from El Financiero; Eduardo Huchim and Sergio Sarmiento, from Reforma; Francisco Garfias, Ricardo Alemán, Martín Moreno and José Cárdenas, from Excélsior; Raymundo Riva Palacio, from the Atando Cabos radio program; Rafael Cardona, from José Cárdenas Informa; Gabriel Guerra, from Noticieros Televisa; and Jorge Fernández Menéndez.
Those supporting Sicilia in his call for the resignation of García Luna were: Carmen Aristegui, from MVS Noticias; Félix Fuentes, from El Universal; Jairo Calixto Albarrán, from Milenio Diario; Julio Hernández López, from La Jornada; and Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa, Manuel J. Jáuregui and Roberto Blancarte, from Reforma.
The file highlights that the activities of the MPJD caused some to distance themselves from Sicilia, including María Elena Morera, of the Mexican nonprofit Common Cause, and Isabel Miranda de Wallace, of the nonprofit Stop Kidnapping, “who declare themselves against Sicilia’s declaration calling for the resignation of Genaro García Luna.”
In his political profile, the file indicates that Sicilia “stands out for his strong criticism of the federal and state government,” and emphasizes his questioning of the Morelos state administrations of Jorge Carrillo Olea (1994-1998) and Sergio Estrada Cajigal (2000-2006).
Regarding President Felipe Calderón, the file points out that the poet believes “that Calderón is not guilty for the violence in the country, but he is responsible for having gone to war with poor planning.”
The file indicates that once the EZLN became known in 1994, “the activity of Sicilia became more committed to the vision of the guerrilla movement,” and to date he continues to sympathize with the Zapatistas, with whom he met on September 16, 2011, in the community of Oventic.
Half of the document is dedicated to monitoring Sicilia’s activities after the discovery of his son’s corpse on March 28, 2011. It reports on all MPJD meetings and activities every day from April to September, including those held with Calderón at Los Pinos, as well as the Caravans for Peace in the north and south; it lists the people participating in the meetings, what the demands were, excerpts from the poet’s statements and the number of people who attended the demonstrations.
The file recounts the incident in Coatzacoalcos on September 18, 2011, when Sicilia’s 12-person security team “was alerted to the presence of hooded men, so they stopped the march to get out of their cars, brandish their weapons and surround the vehicle carrying Javier.”
The extensive confidential document points out the poet’s collaborations with: Proceso magazine; the daily newspaper La Jornada; Ixtus, the magazine he managed until 2007; and its successor, Conspiratio. In addition, it includes the books he has published as well as the awards he has received.
It also records his connections to the former abbot of the Basilica of Guadalupe, Guillermo Schulenburg, and with environmentalists and politicians from the left such as Jean Robert, Pietro Ameglio, Ignacio Suárez Huape (former leader of the PRD in Morelos) and José Martínez Cruz, of the Morelos Independent Commission on Human Rights.
The Former Ombudsman
The file on Emilio Álvarez Icaza also contains his personal biography – education, parents, spouse, children, and positions he has held – as well as address, telephone numbers, national ID, taxpayer ID, voter document, and passport.
It mentions all of his publications, the decorations, awards and recognitions received since he was a student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) – where he graduated in sociology – up to his post as president of the Commission on Human Rights for the Federal District (CDHDF); courses taken in Mexico and abroad, his academic and professional activities, and up to his aspirations to win the presidency of the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH) and an advisory role in the Federal Electoral Institute (IFE).
For his personal connections, the federal government classifies him as “left-leaning” as the former president of the National Center of Communication, an organization founded by his father, José Álvarez Icaza.
Among his personal and political links: Luis Nava Calvillo, national leader of the Citizen’s Movement for Democracy; the late Samuel Ruiz, bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas; and Ángel Saldaña Zamarrón, former member of the 23rd of September Communist League.
The document says: “Recognized in 2011 by NGOs, political parties, and anti-establishment groups that oppose the policies of the federal government.” In 2010 he openly demonstrated in favor of abortion and reproductive rights, as well as same-sex marriage. For several years he has confronted activists of the National Action Party (PAN), who blocked his aspirations for the presidency of the CNDH in 2009.
“He sympathizes with liberation theology, and he has created works in defense of the rights of indigenous peoples,” the file says.
It also indicates that, although he has the backing of some members of the PRD, other groups within the party – including those that support Andrés Manuel López Obrador – reproach him for having issued, as ombudsman in the capital in November 2006, a recommendation for the sit-in at the Reforma newspaper, which may have affected his intentions to become an advisor to the IFE.
More Personal Data
The file of Miguel Álvarez Gándara, president of SERAPAZ, is the most extensive and detailed of all the federal government’s files. It gives an account of his links to guerrilla movements in Mexico and Latin America, as well as to liberation theology and European Christian Democracy.
Álvarez Gándara has been one of the leading supporters of Sicilia in the movement, principally regarding contacts and accords with social, ecclesiastic and victims’ organizations. Many of the meetings are held in the offices of SERAPAZ.
He is a member of the National Coordination of the Basic Ecclesial Communities, created by bishop Sergio Méndez Arceo, one of the promoters of liberation theology; member of the Grouping of Christians Committed to Popular Struggles (1992); private secretary of Samual Ruiz García; technical secretary of the National Commission of Intermediation for the dialog between the government and the EZLN; and member of the Mediation Commission to find two members of the EPR who disappeared in 2010. The file also includes the work that he realized in the state committee of the Socialist Workers Party in Chiapas in 1976.
“As part of his work in San Cristóbal de las Casas, he maintained close relationships with: Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente, leader of the EZLN; Raymundo Sánchez Barraza, director since 1989 of the Indigenous Center for Development and Integral Training; Francisco Hernández de los Santos, nephew and private secretary of Samuel Ruiz García; Alberto Székely, Carlos Fazio and Froylán López Narváez, of Proceso magazine, with whom Álvarez Gándara traveled to Chiapas on October 16, 1995; Pablo González Casanova and Óscar Oliva, with whom Álvarez Gándara met to discuss the government meetings with the EZLN; Concepción Calvillo de Nava, Elisa Cruz Rivera, Gloria Tello and Alejandro Luévano, with whom Álvarez Gándara traveled to San Cristóbal de las Casas on September 10, 1995,” the document says.
It also contains a record of his trips abroad from 2006 to 2011, for example to Bolivia and Brazil; in the latter country, he participated in meetings of organizations with socialist leanings.
Another file is that of the priest Miguel Concha Malo, prior of the Dominican Preachers, founder of the Fray Francisco de Vitoria Center for Human Rights, contributor to La Jornada, and member of the MPJD.
The record for Concha contains his home and office addresses; his national ID, voter document and passport number; his secular and religious studies in Mexico, Italy and France; his recognitions in Mexico and El Salvador; and the funding he received from the Koch Foundation in the United States to support the center that he directs.
His political profile points out that he was “one of the most important spokesmen among the Dominicans of liberation theology during the 1970s.” It notes that he has modified his discourse, but his criticism of injustices remains.
“The members of the National Council of Students found in 1981 in Concha Malo a person committed to the international guerrilla movement who introduced Marxist ideas into the Iberoamerican University (UIA) via the Department of Theological Sciences and the Center of University Integration,” says the federal government’s document.
The record contains a long list of political and social activities, including his participation in meetings of the EZLN, the Mexican Syndicate of Electricians, Citizen’s Cause, the Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women in Ciudad Juárez, and the MPJD itself.
“He is one of the main bastions of the progressive ecclesiastic sector,” the document says, and adds that he received a death threat on August 7, 1997, and his office was raided and plundered in 1999.
Clara Jusidman, another member of the group that supports and discusses the movement’s strategies, has a file prepared by the federal government in which, like those already mentioned, includes personal data: education, address, properties, family, national ID and voter document.
It is noteworthy that the file includes all her activities as a government employee since 1969, when she was technical advisor for the census of the following year. She was then part of the leadership of the Research Center for Integrated Rural Development of the Secretariat of Planning and Budget (1983-1984) during the presidency of Carlos Salinas de Gortari. The file also mentions her work on the Advisory Board of the National Solidarity Program of SEDESOL, under the leadership of Luis Donaldo Colosio, and in the Technical Board of the IFE (1994), in the BID, and the UN.
It mentions her affiliation to the PRI, where she was coordinator of the Subcommittee for Rural Modernization of the CEN (1988-1994), and as a member of Civic Alliance, president of the National Accord for Democracy (1994), Group San Ángel, Citizen’s Cause, and founder of INCIDE Social. But the file stresses that starting in 1996 she began to distance herself from the PRI, having been opposed in the IFE by Enrique Ibarra Pedroza, PRI representative at the time and now PRD sympathizer, and pressured by conservative groups in 1998 for supporting the law to aid HIV patients.
It cites her participation in various actions since 1999, such as: the First Congress of Social Work of the Federal District; the International Forum for Constructing Peace and Social Development in Chiapas, on November 27, 2002; as well as press conferences in 2006 in which she spoke of the need for citizen participation to resolve the post-election crisis. The file mentions her participation in the MPJD and notes that she has had differences with Sicilia, but she is considered “conciliatory and willing to negotiate.”
The record of the young university student Raúl Romero Gallardo contains all personal, family and work details, and also includes his political activities since he was a student at the College of Sciences and Humanities, his participation in forums in support of the EZLN in 2009, and various activities against the militarization of the country.
It indicates that he was a member of the Metropolitan Coordinating Committee Against Militarization and Violence (COMECOM), “an anti-establishment group that coordinate student groups, and that emerged in 2010 after the assassination of students in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua.”
The file indicates that the group “aspired to co-opt Sicilia’s movement in order to strengthen and promote its particular demands of the federal government,” but that “after having differences with the intellectual [Sicilia] and with the drafting committee of the National Pact, it decided to distance itself from the movement [for peace], although it left open the possibility of participating in some of the movement’s activities if an event coincides with its interests.”