23-F leader celebrated coup anniversary in Civil Guard barracks

Son of Antonio Tejero Molina removed from top post after organizing lunch to mark 1981 uprising

Tejero in Congress during the February 23, 1981 coup attempt. / EFE

The son of the former leader of the February 23, 1981 (23-F) failed coup was suddenly removed from a top security post he held with the Civil Guard in Madrid on Monday after it was discovered he organized a celebration last month to mark the anniversary of the uprising for his father and other co-conspirators at the security force’s installations.

In a statement, the Interior Ministry said it was replacing Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Díez as head of the Reserve and Security Group 1 (GRS-1) of the Civil Guard in Madrid.

Tejero Díez had organized a lunch to mark the 33rd anniversary of the 23-F coup at the security group’s rural headquarters in the Madrid satellite town of Valdemoro on February 18. Besides his father, the former Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Tejero Molina, who was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in jail for leading the violent takeover of Congress that day, other guests included former Civil Guard Captain Jesús Muñecas Aguilar, who is fighting extradition to Argentina to face homicide and torture charges.

Muñecas was sentenced to five years for his role in the 1981 plot.

The Interior Ministry’s firing of Tejero Díez came hours after EL PAÍS asked for an official reaction to the organizing of the event on property belonging to the state.

Several on-duty civil guard officers helped prepare and served paella for the people who were invited. An exhibition of equipment and vehicles used by the force was also put on display.

When contacted, Tejero Díez’s superior officer said he had no knowledge of the event but that it was not endorsed by the Civil Guard. Nevertheless, the coup leader’s son acknowledged that he had organized the gathering to mark the anniversary.

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