The "National Organization of the Anvil," or simply El Yunque, was allegedly formed in Puebla, Mexico, in the early 1950s, and is widely described as an ultra-Catholic, anti-communist, anti-Semitic, anti-liberal and fascist organization.1 While initially an anti-communist student outfit set out to "combat with all means available the forces of the [Communist] Revolution," which it equaled with the works of Satan,2 El Yunque's clout grew considerably over the years, and ever since the 1980s is heavily represented in the far-right National Action Party (PAN) of Mexico.3 Today it is a national political force, whose self-avowed purpose is to establish a divine kingdom in Mexico under the mandate of the Roman Catholic Church. This should be facilitated through the infiltration of El Yunque members at the highest levels of political power.
According to critics, El Yunque, or The Anvil, has a long history in Mexico.3 It was established in Puebla in 1953 as a student movement to fight communism and liberal government with the ultimate goal to create a Roman Catholic state. Through the creation of a series of anti-communist, pro-religious front groups, El Yunque subsequently expanded its membership on college campuses in the 1960s and 1970s. According to critics, the secret organization was supposedly paramilitary in nature, performing its actions (including political assassinations mostly through a set of front organizations) and, according to the magazine Contralínea, this included the student organization MURO at the National Autonomous University of Mexico in the 1960s.4 During the economic crises of the 1970s and 1980s, El Yunque members become leaders of business organizations battered by the government's erratic economic policies. Mostly through front groups, El Yunque integrated into the conservative National Action Party, or PAN, during the opposition party's growth period in the 1980s and 1990s. With the PAN's victory in the 2000 presidential election, El Yunque members moved into government posts and solidify their presence at the highest levels of the PAN.
Expansion to Spain
The movement would eventually spread to Spain, and likewise infiltrate far-right political structures, such as the ultra-Catholic petition platform CitizenGo. Former members of El Yunque and relatives of active members of this ultra-right secret sect were revealed in separate trials held in April 2013 in Spain. These trials also uncovered the identity of the civilians and platforms that serve as a cover for El Yunque, including the ultra-Catholic online platform Hazte Oir and the Institute of Family Policy (Instituto de Política Familiar), two of the most active associations in the massive citizen mobilizations of recent years against the abortion law, homosexual marriage and sexual education in Spain.5
The judge María Belén López Castrillo of the Madrid Court of First Instance number 48 considers the relationship between El Yunque and Hazte Oír as essentially proven. The platform HazteOir, presided over by Ignacio Arsuaga Rato, filed a lawsuit for loss of reputation against Fernando Lopez Luengos, vice president of the association of lay Christians Educación y Persona ("Education and Person"), "which in a devastating and comprehensive report denounced how the secret sect has infiltrated the PP, the top echelons of the Church, the group Intereconomía or the university San Pablo-CEU."5
López Castrillo reportedly rejected Arsuaga's claims and pointed out that "the relationship between members of HazteOír with El Yunque is a proven fact, based on documentary and testimonial evidence."5 The report by Lopez Luengos endorsed by the judge reveals that the objectives of the ultra-Catholic sect are "the occupation of ever greater parcels of political power and media influence" and the creation of "networks to attract young people and adolescents to the organization." El Yunque's creed is to "defend the Catholic religion and fight against the forces of Satan," including through the use of violence.5
Credits: Alvaro Zulueta and Paul Bhatti // License: CC BY-SA 2.0
According to Mexican National Journalism Prize winner Álvaro Delgado, author of the book El Yunque: la ultraderecha en el poder, Álvaro Zulueta is the key interface between El Yunque, HazteOír and the Crusaders of Christ the King (Cruzados de Cristo Rey),6 "a fundamentalist priestly fraternity created, among others, by the founder of the secret sect [El Yunque] in Mexico, Ramón Plata Moreno, which serves as spiritual support for its members."7 Álvaro Zulueta is a business manager currently serving as the CEO of the ultra-Catholic international petition and mobilization platform CitizenGo as well as treasurer of its Spanish-only predecessor, HazteOír, founded in 2001. Zulueta is married to Olga Cuquerella Gamboa, a phantom employee of the corrupt son-in-law of Juan Carlos I of Spain, Iñaki Urdangarín Liebaert. Olga's brother, Marcial Cuquerella Gamboa, is director general of Intereconomía TV and presumed member of El Yunque as well, according to El Confidencial.7
- 1. Mario Virgilio Santiago Jiménez, "El Yunque de México: del periodismo a la historia," OpenEdition Journals, 2016, p.2, https://journals.openedition.org/nuevomundo/68832.
- 2. Delgado, Álvaro, El Yunque. La ultraderecha en el poder (México: Ed. Plaza y Janés, 2003), https://ia600900.us.archive.org/28/items/ElYunqueUltraderechaEnElPoderAlvaroDelgadoPdf/El-yunque-ultraderecha-en-el-poder-Alvaro-delgado-pdf.pdf.
- 3. a. b. Laurence Iliff, "Critics say secret society has infiltrated Mexican government," Dallas News, July 9, 2007, https://web.archive.org/web/20101228194753/http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/world/stories/070907dnintanvil.38f268a.html.
- 4. Miguel Ángel Ortega, "Cara, la extrema derecha de El Yunque," Contralinea, http://www.contralinea.com.mx/c16/html/politica/cara.html.
- 5. a. b. c. d. José L. Lobo, "Testigos revelan en un juicio la identidad de los miembros de la secta secreta El Yunque," El Confidencial, May 31, 2014, https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2014-05-31/testigos-revelan-en-un-juicio-la-identidad-de-los-miembros-de-la-secta-secreta-el-yunque_138970/.
- 6. Cruzados de Cristo Rey, http://www.ccr.org.mx/.
- 7. a. b. José L. Lobo, "La asistente personal y una empleada de Urdangarín están vinculadas a El Yunque," El Confidential, February 13, 2012, https://www.elconfidencial.com/espana/2012-02-13/la-asistente-personal-y-una-empleada-de-urdangarin-estan-vinculadas-a-el-yunque_237725/.