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HazteOir, An Ultra-Conservative Spanish Organization, Fought With Google To Hide Connections To A Notorious Anti-Communist Secret Society

According to files published by WikiLeaks, the ultra-conservative Spanish organization HazteOir – which uses ‘free speech’ justifications to advocate against the rights of the LGBTQ community — fought with Google to “suppress” suspected connections to a notorious Catholic secret society. El Yunque (‘The Anvil’) is the name of this secret society. It is a religious, anti-communist organization that was formed in Mexico in the 1950s. It does not have a website or an official registration, but it is said to be operating throughout Latin America and Spain.

Investigative journalists from major publications, including El Pas, have revealed how El Yunque and HazteOir collaborated. This is especially contentious in Spain, where secret organizations are expressly prohibited by the constitution. Articles from media sources were among the 150-plus links in Google searches that HazteOir attempted to “suppress” (their words) in 2015 – as were “related searches” featuring its name and phrases like “Far-Right.”

When a direct request to Google was denied (the firm stated that “including these news [reports] in Google’s search results continues to be relevant and of public interest”), HazteOir brought its case to a Madrid court, according to the Wikileaks files. In their legal complaint, they requested that Google “correct their decision,” pay them in cash, and sign a confidentiality agreement so that Google “will not be able to place the suppression on record nor report it to third parties,” including media outlets.

The court scheduled a ‘conciliation hearing’ for the following month in September 2015. What occurred next is not known; there are no more files in the Wikileaks publication, and the links HazteOir attacked remain in Google’s search index. The Wikileaks papers — 17,000 internal HazteOir and CitizenGo documents ranging from 2001 to 2017 – give an unprecedented glimpse into the inner workings and tactics of these organizations.

Their activities to suppress information, as revealed in the WikiLeaks files, also contradict “their rhetoric of defending free speech,” according to Isabel Marler, the head of the AWID global women’s rights group’s Advancing Universal Rights and Justice project. “Their argument is all a ruse. It’s intended to make an extreme, discriminatory agenda sound more acceptable,” she added. HazteOir has described its actions, which include sending buses emblazoned with anti-trans messages and slogans such as “Stop Feminazis” across Spain and elsewhere, as “a beacon of light for political correctness dissidents” and “the realization of the freedom of expression” protected under the Spanish constitution.

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