“The legitimate pride of being civil guards”




Perhaps among the authorities and the general public who heard Francisco Javier Cortés Méndez’s speech this Tuesday, at the Toledo Civil Guard Command, few would know that a man with an outstanding and award-winning record spoke to them. A professional career awarded, in addition, with several red medals for his work for the benefit of society for decades. Four or five pensioned decorations, depending on who you ask.

Because this brigadier general, head of the armed institute in Castilla-La Mancha (2nd Zone), does not usually grant interviews. Perhaps this explains why there is little information on the internet about his long and successful career. Only four official data jump on the computer when one types his name and surname. “Perhaps because his work was closely linked to confronting terrorism,” they always point out in his environment.

Nevertheless, It is striking that he does have a LinkedIn account, a social network oriented to business use, business and employment. In it you can read that he has 74 contacts and browse some traces of his journey within the worthy body.

It is not known if among those contacts were some of the dozens of people who attended the official ceremony at the Toledo command on Tuesday on the occasion of the day of their patron saint, the Virgen del Pilar. «We received the authorities and the representatives of the citizens with open arms and we interpret their presence as an expression of the support and esteem with which they always correspond to us »Cortés began his speech, in which he spoke of the Civil Guard service to the citizens and the homeland.

The general apologized to those same citizens that those in green care for not being able to welcome them “as they deserve” in the barracks on such an important day, “regardless of the Marian feeling that each one may profess and regardless of particular religious beliefs.” , said. But the pandemic by the coronavirus still marks the step, also in the feast of the Virgen del Pilar. And that has a history of more than 157 years, which emerged in the Valdemoro Youth Guards school (Madrid), according to the general.

Agents of the Usecic, during the act
Usecic agents, during the event – H. Fraile

Cortés spoke of reconciling tradition and “permanent” modernization by adapting “to new forms of crime, and to improve the personal and professional life of its members.” He also alluded to the evolution of risks and threats to public security “in an increasingly complex environment.” That is why he encouraged us to continue making efforts in the field of prevention and information, “as true engines of modern security.” And he sent a message to other navigators: «We are going to persevere and encourage the participation of all the actors that participate in the field of different types of security, public and private, international, national, regional or local to guarantee an integrated action , coordinated and efficient that minimizes these risks ”.

He assured that, so far this year, The Civil Guard has intensified collaboration with “almost all” the ministries of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, “Especially that of Agriculture, Water and Rural Development with regard to the different agricultural seasons”, in addition to “ensuring food quality.” Also with the Sustainable Development in environmental matters for the fight against fires. “And, obviously, the Ministry of Health, in terms of prevention and compliance with the measures adopted to deal with the health crisis,” he said.

Proclaimed the “legitimate pride of being civil guards” on such a day, and he thanked all his companions in the region “for their daily effort, loyalty, spirit, sacrifice, and exact performance of duty.” This has been reflected, in recent months, in “important services in all aspects of security”, although he did not cite any.

He also launched some slogans of the Civil Guard account on Twitter, such as “our vocation is to become the best heritage of each Spaniard” and “our greatest reward is to earn their love, respect and recognition.”

The image of the Virgen del Pilar, guarded by a civil guard
The image of the Virgen del Pilar, guarded by a civil guard – H. Fraile

He recalled the admiration that Spanish society has for this body after so many years of service, also humanitarian to protect “the most vulnerable and those who have needed it most” in the catastrophes suffered in the region in the last year: snowfalls, floods and the pandemic. “This is how the meritorious character of this institution is exercised”, he stressed.

Cortés encouraged his men and women to continue carrying out “rigorously and without complexes” their work in each unit, in each town, “silently, continuously and prudently, as we have been doing so far.”

And he said all this in a sunny ceremony in which eight Civil Guards received a “just and deserved decoration” for their work; “A prize to which, modestly, we all aspire”, and of which the general can speak from experience: “The intimate satisfaction of the duty accomplished.” In addition, the military, national police and civilian personnel were also decorated. The general had words for the retired civil guards this year and also for the victims of terrorism – which Cortés knows so well – in particular the 210 civil guards killed by ETA. “We have paid a high tribute,” he said.

By then, it was already known that the dean of the cathedral, Juan Miguel Ferrer, had announced his resignation to the archbishop after the controversial video of C. Tangana and Nathy Peluso recorded in the primate temple. The priest was one of dozens of people who applauded the general’s speech, which was followed by the words of the government delegate in the region. Francisco Tierraseca highlighted the importance of the presence of the Civil Guard in rural areas, which in the region reaches 85 percent of its territory (almost 80,000 square kilometers). “You are an essential piece to tackle the demographic challenge”said the delegate, because “you are the first to arrive at the stage of the regions where the only security reference actor is the Civil Guard.”

The chaplain of the Toledo Command and the dean of the cathedral
The chaplain of the Toledo Command and the dean of the cathedral – H. Fraile

For potential applicants to the body, the delegate released a message: «We need more guards, more presence on the roads, in the streets and squares of our towns and cities. Hence, the commitment of the Ministry of the Interior to continue expanding public job offers. “More human capital and better material and technological resources to consolidate the body as a reference for public service”, which is why the Government of Spain has incorporated, he said, more than 14,000 civil guards and national police in the last three years.

And there was no lack of data that places Castilla-La Mancha at about seven points below the national average in the crime rate, with 32.2 criminal offenses per 1,000 inhabitants. And a part of these figures is due to the “good response” and the “dedication” of the Civil Guard to security and public order.

He also gave figures on the presence of women in their ranks, “one of those necessary changes that respond to an act of justice.” In the last year, that increase has been 15 percent, according to Tierraseca, since it has gone from 294 to 338 troops. As a representative example, he cited Lieutenant Colonel Cristina Moreno, the new head of the Guadalajara Civil Guard Command and the second woman in charge of a command in Spain.

AND encouraged future university students so that they remember this armed institute as a work option wearing their uniform. For example, he cited, in the officer scale you can already find profiles of mathematicians, engineers or economists.

Sum of praise

Outside the stage, other politicians who attended the Toledo command congratulated the Civil Guard. “It is the guarantor of equality among all citizens,” said the Minister of Finance and Public Administrations of Castilla-La Mancha, Juan Alfonso Ruiz Molina, in line with what the president of the Toledo Provincial Council declared, Alvaro Gutierrez.

The mayor, Milagros Tolón, stressed that “she is always at the disposal of the city” and “her invaluable help in moments as difficult as the passage of DANA or the storm Filomena.” And the president of Eurocaja Rural, Javier López Martín, was photographed with the chief colonel of the command, Francisco Javier Vélez, and General Francisco Javier Cortés. The same one who has an account on LinkedIn.

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