National Guard investigates elements for complaining on WhatsApp

The National Guard (GN) ordered to launch an internal investigation of its own elements to identify and punish those responsible for having issued or shared messages on the WhatsApp application, in which decisions taken by the military high command are criticized, such as the relay of personnel on the country’s roads, or the use of guards to pursue migrants or monitor welfare banks.
Even all state commanders (headed by the military) and their intelligence areas were ordered to monitor the messages that elements of the institution disseminate on social networks under the argument that “they call into question the good image of this public security institution.”
These orders were given through an office with the character of “extra-urgent” dated October 29 and addressed to all state commanders, which was signed by the Colonel of Cavalry Diploma of General Staff and Chief of Intelligence Section of the GN, Napoleón Jiménez Amezcua, on behalf of the Retired General Commander of the GN, Luis Rodríguez Bucio.

In the document, to which Political Animal had access, it is noted – by the signatures of military officials – that were the intelligence areas of the Army those that identified in messaging services and social networks the dissemination of the messages of alleged elements of this corporation exposing criticisms of the strategies implemented recently.
It even refers to the matter being addressed through an urgent “teleconference” of which no further details are given, but which resulted in the order to identify the authors of the messages, apply the corresponding corrective measures and monitor the issuance of other messages. This is strictly in accordance with respect for human rights and the National Law on the Use of Force.
Lawyer Adriana Herrera, a specialist in military law and the Armed Forces, said that these documents (of which she was shown copies) prove the intervention of areas such as the General Staff of The National Defense in a public security corporation, but also open the door to espionage activities to their own troops by the military apparatuses responsible for it.

This media asked the National Guard for an official position on these facts and to know, for example, what corrective measures were taken against the elements responsible for the messages. No response has been received as of the publication of this note.

The message that upset the Army
According to the office formed by Jiménez Amezcua, during the tasks of “monitoring social networks” that are routinely carried out by the personnel of the Deputy Chief of Intelligence of the General Staff of the National Defense (an instance of the Sedena), a message was detected in the messaging application “Whatsapp” where decisions made about the National Guard were criticized.
The document transcribes in four pages the content of this message entitled “LET’S NOT throw in the towel”. He begins by criticizing the replacement of federal ex-officials within the National Guard who were destined for road safety work in Jalisco and Guanajuato, and their replacement by military police.
Next, the message refers to the four actions that Mexico is obliged to comply with within the framework of the Communications and Transportation Sector Program 2020-2024, and questions whether the military in charge of the National Guard can meet this objective.
“Comrades, do you really believe that Defense Secretary General Crescencio Sandoval, who is the intellectual architect of this tear called the National Guard… are you interested in or aware of all this? Of course not. What they want is the control of roads and airports,” the message adds.
With terms at times derogatory, this message questions the military enrolled in the National Guard, and even accuses that they were brought “with deception” to this security force. Then he asks “the comrades” not to accept the offers and to try to process amparos against their changes of assignments or complaints to the CNDH.
“Even they (the military) are angry. They were promised that in six months they would return to their barracks or barracks and that is not the case. They are gassing, taking care of vaccines, taking care of the skeletal welfare banks, taking care of pipes and the worst: running around and mothering migrants,” says the transcribed WhatsApp message.
Finally, the message again criticizes the replacement that will be made of the former federals assigned to the National Guard for surveillance on roads of 18 states, and claims that the work of up to five thousand people is at risk. The message, according to the transcript, concludes by pointing out various administrative provisions that are being violated with these relays and reiterates the invitation to promote legal action.
Political Animal published on September 27 that the aforementioned strategy is for the military police to control, by June 2022, security in 55 national and international airports and 202 road stations. This instead of the former civil federals attached to the GN who are still in charge of these functions.
The Answer: Surveillance, Warnings and Sanctions
Without making any reference to the complaints promoted in the message, the National Guard Command ordered the state commanders to undertake five actions aimed at identifying the elements involved in the exchange of messages, punishing them as appropriate and preventing the dissemination of other types of messages.
“It is ordered to activate its information search organs to locate, identify, verify and locate the origin of the aforementioned message,” says the first instruction issued by the command.
Then it is indicated that in case it is confirmed that said message was issued “the corresponding disciplinary actions are taken with the GN personnel involved”, and the internal control body is informed. It is emphasized in bold that such action must be with “unrestricted attachment to human rights”.
As a third point, it is ordered to maintain a permanent monitoring of publications on social networks to take care of a negative impact on the image of the GN, and that “the good image” of the corporation is questioned.
State commanders are then asked to “raise awareness among all personnel” about the “legal and administrative consequences” to which they may become creditors for the dissemination of this type of message. Finally, it asks that the staff of the GN be ratified that this is an institution that acts under the principles of legality, objectivity, efficiency, professionalism, honesty and respect for human rights.
Espionage and military control
The specialist in military law Adriana Herrera examined the trades and warned of two things: the military intervention in this corporation and the imminent risk of espionage to the private communications of its own elements.
In the first instance, the expert drew attention to the duty in which it is ordered to implement these surveillance and sanctions is signed by Amezcua using his military rank (colonel of cavalry) and not privileging his police rank, assuming that he really has it.
“If he is from the GN they should have given him his name and his police rank, which in this case as a colonel would be the equivalent of inspector general. He should say chief inspector general of the intelligence section, however, they put the military grade on him. And this is revealing of how they really operate under the military and not civilian structure,” says the expert.
To them is added that a copy of all these offices is marked at the request of the Ministry of National Defense despite the fact that the GN is a decentralized police of the Secretariat of Citizen Security. In fact, the watermark of the document corresponds to the 1st Military Police Brigade, attached to the Defense.
In October 2020 Political Animal he published that the heads of the National Guard were in fact military commanders who remained subordinate to the National Defense and who, in reality, were not separated from that armed institution.
A more delicate situation, Herrera adds, is that in the offices the intervention of the sub-chief of Intelligence of the General Staff of the National Defense is noticed, a situation that allows us to presume that behind these monitoring tasks there could be an espionage to troops who, in addition, on paper are civilian and not military police.
“It is clear that here there was intelligence work to identify the WhatsApp message, subtract it and transcribe the content. That is, they continue to use their espionage mechanisms to gather intelligence and use means that are illegal and unconstitutional. And with which they plan to take measures and actions,” Herrera warned.
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Original source in Spanish

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