‘Billy’ Álvarez, president of the Cruz Azul Cooperative and the soccer team | Hector Vivas / .

He Blue Cross It is still on everyone’s lips, either because of sporting success or failure, or because of the mother company behind it, along with all the controversy it has experienced in the last 20 years: Cooperativa La Cruz Azul S. C. L.

Today the front of the National Palace woke up with a demonstration with more than 200 cooperative members who showed their disagreement with the resolution of the case of Guillermo Álvarez Cuevas, ‘Billy’, president of the soccer team and director of the Cooperative, who is undergoing an investigation by the Financial Intelligence Unit for possible money laundering and tax evasion.

This is the latest movement to a problem that has its roots almost two decades ago and that every year seems to increase the amount of litigation, protests, statements by those involved; so below we present five key points to understand the problem of Cooperative and his relationship with the Cruz Azul soccer club.

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Guillermo Álvarez ‘Billy’ heads the Cruz Azul Cooperative | Hector Vivas / .

The Cruz Azul Cooperative, one of the most important cement companies in the entire continent, maintains a gigantic structure, which has under its yoke 27 companies classified into three main areas: Cooperatives (where the cooperative nucleus lies), Social Companies (such as educational, medical, sports or social centers) and Horizontal Development Companies (such as cement and textile groups and shopping centers).

This number of companies, also known as companies, are governed under a model called « Corporate Governance ». This is governed from a ‘General Assembly of Partners‘, which is the supreme authority of the Cooperative and the area in charge of appointing the Director General of the Cooperative: Guillermo Álvarez Cuevas, ‘Billy’.

The decisions made by this assembly are executed by a ‘Board of directors’, and supervised by another council, the ‘Surveillance Council’; which means that these three divisions of the Corporate Government are counterweights of the Cooperative in order to guarantee « responsible, caring and transparent management », as read in its statutes.

However, these councils are geared to the particular interests of the most influential partners, who do not always agree on decision-making, the main aspect of the problem that surrounds the Cruz Azul Cooperative and that in passing splashes the soccer team, since it enters the companies that the Cooperative controls.

Guillermo Álvarez Macías, father of ‘Billy’ Álvarez, was employed by the cement company since 1937 and in 1954 became the director

Despite the fact that the company elects its director by consensus of its partners, this he has never left the Álvarez family since 1952, when Guillermo Álvarez Macías assumed the presidency of the Cooperative, the same that four years earlier had founded the soccer team.

His influence dictated the bases of innovation in the Cooperative and he won the support of the cooperative members, until in 1988 his older son, Guillermo ‘Billy’ Álvarez Cuevas, took office, brother of Alfredo Álvarez and brother-in-law of Víctor Garcés.

Since then, the Álvarez family has taken over the cooperative and the soccer team without directly involving any other outsiders.

Guillermo Álvarez (left) and Víctor Garcés (right) are brothers-in-law and both have played an important role in the leadership of the cooperative and the Cruz Azul team | STR / .

So many years with the Cooperative in the hands of a family had to generate problems sooner or later. Today who presides over it is ‘Billy’ Álvarez and has been since 1988, that is, 32 years at the helm of the cooperative and the football team, time that coincides with a single league title achieved under his mandate.

During these years at the helm, their presence has generated suspicion and disagreement on the part of various sectors of the cooperative, who in the first decade of 2000 accused the eldest of the Álvarez family for the first time of excluding them in decision-making. In addition to his younger brother, Guillermo Álvarez, began to testify about ‘Billy’s mismanagement in the cooperative society.

At this same time, the lawsuits against ‘Billy’, director of the cooperative, and Víctor Garcés, legal representative and brother-in-law of the Álvarez Cueva, began, for irregularities mainly related to the soccer team.

The crucial thing about these litigation is that Alfredo Álvarez he appeared among the plaintiffs, who at that time served as vice president of the Cooperative.

This dispute in the family branch is one of the problems that ‘Billy’ Álvarez has faced during his tenure, with his brother Alfredo as the main opponent.

Another chapter in the family aspect was experienced in 2018, when the nephew of ‘Billy’ and the son of Alfredo Álvarez, José Alfredo Álvarez Kunding, He filed another lawsuit against the Cooperative to annul several assemblies that did not benefit his rights as a cooperative member.

The last of the legal problems appeared in August of last year, when Víctor Garcés filed a lawsuit against ‘Billy’ Álvarez himself demanding an accountability, at the same time that he demanded to disable him from his duties. This lawsuit did not proceed and after eight months, Garcés himself was disqualified from his duties by the Cooperative’s Board of Directors when he was accused of a fraud for $ 400 million.

Víctor Manuel Velázquez and José Antonio Marín, the face behind the new war against Billy Álvarez

As mentioned at the beginning, the decisions made by the General Director of the Cooperative (‘Billy’ Álvarez) are conditioned on the approval of the Supervisory Board and the Board of Directorswho wanted to preside Víctor Manuel Velázquez and José Antonio Marín, the new ‘Billy’ rivals.

These cooperative members managed to assume these positions in September 2018; However, the Álvarez brothers undertook to annul this election as it was a ‘spurious assembly’, with the endorsement of the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City.

Velázquez and Marín argue that they received these attacks and threats after opposing « the sale of 45 percent of the assets of the cooperative and more than 20 horizontal companies, » according to Indigo Report. In this way a new war began between these two sides.

The main point of this attack is the demand for transparency in the distribution of money that Guillermo ‘Billy’ Álvarez has had in the Cooperative and with the soccer team, a weapon that they are using to generate greater media impact.

The two dissident cooperatives point out that there is no democracy or freedom in the cooperative, in addition to pointing to Billy Alvarez As a man who has always had an opaque handling of money and who does not consult his decisions with any of the counterparts, so the Cooperative lives in a dictatorship that they seek to eradicate.

At this point family conflicts still lie, since Víctor Manuel Velázquez is married to Giuliana Reynoso, niece of ‘Billy’ Álvarez, one of the events for which he is an important figure within the Cooperative.

Blue Cross | Hector Vivas / .

The demands that are currently being resolved have as their main author the dissident cooperativists, and in them are exposed diversions of resources by the Cooperative with ‘Billy’ Álvarez as the main responsible. In addition to tax evasion and money laundering, where neither Alfredo Álvarez nor Víctor Garcés, who are also accused, escape.

The beginning of these litigations was when it was revealed that for years, the cooperative’s managers extracted millions of dollars destined for tax havens, with the permission of director Guillermo ‘Billy’ Álvarez.

Alfredo Álvarez has again taken an important position in these disputes, as it has constantly collaborated with the General Prosecutor of the Republic, with the aim of receiving a lesser penalty in exchange for betraying other culprits.

Among his remarks are money laundering through the purchase of players, fixing surcharges and the use of shell companies to collect services that were not carried out; so this is the main knot of legal problems going through Billy Alvarez, as current director of the Cruz Azul Cooperative.

The protest in front of the National Palace has been by some cooperatives divided into two groups: those who are trying to show support for the current director of the Cooperative, Guillermo ‘Billy’ Álvarez, and those who are against him. In all cases requiring the participation of the federal government in the case in order to end this conflict that damages the assets of the partners.

In short, the Cruz Azul Cooperative He is going through a civil war in order to remove Guillermo Álvarez Cueva, ‘Billy’, after 30 years at the helm of society. For this, different illegal movements have been leaking that he has allegedly had as leader and representative of the cooperative and that put his position and freedom at risk. In the background are Víctor Manuel Velázquez, José Antonio Marín, and again his brother and accused in these lawsuits, Alfredo Álvarez.

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