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‘Taliban Lawyers’ face criminal investigation

July 16, 2013

The Jalisco Department of Labor (STPS) has urged the Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate possible crimes committed by a group of “extremist” attorneys known as the “Taliban Lawyers.”

The STPS will file a criminal complaint accusing the collective of using false statements, forgery and abuse of power in order to bleed dry small- and medium-sized enterprises through lawsuits worth millions of pesos.

“They call themselves ‘Los Talibanes’… alluding to this fundamentalist group because they fight until the end,” said Labor Secretary Eduardo Almaguer Ramirez.

The STPS detected serious irregularities in a case in which 13 of the “Taliban Lawyers” sought to sue the Guadalajara Diocesan Food Bank for five million pesos – enough to bankrupt the altruistic organization – on behalf of five former employees who had filed for wrongful dismissal. The STPS found evidence that the former employees had filed invoices for more than they were owed; presented false papers to claim for overtime without having worked the additional hours; and falsely claimed they were fired, when documents show they resigned from their positions within the non-profit agency.

“We will not allow them to illegally affect an institution that helps the neediest,” said Almaguer. The STPS also alleged that the lawyers were aided by corrupt officials from the Local Board of Conciliation and Arbitration (JLCyA), who abused their power by accepting falsified documents and untrue statements.

Almaguer said he had identified 66 attorneys as members of the “Taliban Lawyers,” including Gildardo Gonzalez Perez, the apparent founder of the group.

The lawyers have been behind some 3,000 lawsuits in the last three years, many of which are still pending. These include 26 cases against metropolitan water authority SIAPA, which has already been forced to pay out between 20 and 30 million pesos and could end up losing as much as 100 million pesos in total.

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