Barcelona 29 AUG 2019 – 21:44 CEST
READ pdf Rapport Political Violence Cataloni 2019
The constitutionalist association Impulso Ciudadano and the Movement against Intolerance have warned this Thursday of a “continued rebound” of “political violence” in Catalonia as a result of the independence ‘procés’. A report prepared by both entities with unofficial data ensures that during the first half of 2019 there have been 189 incidents linked to the ‘procés’. In January, Interior Minister Miquel Buch announced in the Parliament a “very significant “very significant increase” in hate crimes due to political orientation, going from 121 of 2017 to 326 of 2018. An increase that also reflected the reports from the police, going from 83 to 203 police reports for the crime of discrimination for political orientation, for the same period, according to the report of the Prosecutor’s Office against Hate and Discrimination of Barcelona.
The document states that 91.5% of documented incidents were carried out by supporters of independence, while 5.3% were caused by opponents of it. The remaining 3% had a dubious origin. The incidents, according to the reporting entities “are caused almost exclusively by people with an independentist root, and have a high hispanophobic content. They are based on ideological intolerance and are intended to cause the abandonment of political opponents”. The president of Impulso Ciudadano, José Domingo, has announced that they will send the report to the Prosecutor’s Office, as well as to the Government, the Generalitat, the Parliament, the Ombudsman and the Catalan Ombudsman. Domingo has also criticized the attitude of the Catalan president, Quim Torra: “The president of the Generalitat appeals to the confrontation and stimulates the actions of the CDR, groups that have a high importance in these events”.
The report prepared by the entities has not counted on the participation of any police force or public institutions and has been prepared by recording all those incidents of which they have had knowledge “through the reading of the press and social networks”, the authors explain. The Interior Ministry has also confirmed a rebound in this type of crime of 62.8%. In his appearance at the Parliament, Buch referred to clashes between supporters and detractors of independence and the rise of “extremist ideologies labeled as fascist or populist” as an explanation of the increase. However, a spokeswoman for the Department said they cannot differentiate the percentage of complaints of supporters of independence and defenders of the unity of Spain.
According to those responsible for the report, the “vast majority” of documented events have appeared in the media and in all cases their veracity has been proven. “Since January 1, three people have dedicated themselves every day to scrutinize the media, networks and individualized monitoring of each political party”. This newspaper has reviewed a significant sample of the incidents that appear in the document, verifying their veracity.
The report reflects an average of more than one daily incident, although 88 of these attacks occurred in the month of February, as a result of the reaction against the beginning of the trial of the procés in the Supreme Court. The remaining months have fluctuated between the 17 cases in January and May and the 23 and 26 March and April. Regarding the territorial distribution, the province of Barcelona has registered 145 incidents, of which 128 have occurred in the Catalan capital.
Damages, graffiti and disorders
Of the 189 recorded incidents, 58 correspond to what the authors of the report define as “damage to movable property and real estate” as paintings in parties’ offices, houses or vehicle attacks. Another 36 correspond to “public disorders” among which are roads and railways cuts and clashes with the police. 20 are “violent protests” with throwing of objects, shakings and punches, and other 18 are “intimidatory protests”. There are also cases of harassment (16), physical attacks (7), or threats (6).
The report also includes boycott acts suffered by political parties. Basically these are graffiti on the headquarters, protests and insults towards their leaders. Of the 84 incidents described, 76 (90.45%) would have been suffered by the leaders, militants, headquarters or property of constitutional parties. Citizens, with 30 episodes, would have been the main victim, followed by the PSC with 19, Vox with 14, and the PP with 10. The Communs have suffered three attacks, and among the independence parties, ERC with six incidents would be the most attacked, a total of six. The CUP, with two boycott actions, closes the list, in which JuntsxCat does not appear, as there is no evidence that it has suffered violent acts.
Rafael Arenas, vice president of Impulso Ciudadano, has pointed out the responsibility of public authorities and Catalan institutions in the delegitimizing of other institutions such as the judiciary. He has also denounced the lack of impartiality of the leaders of the Generalitat, which according to Arenas, create a situation of “lack of protection” in the citizens. “It is important that the institutions have a clear and resounding condemnation of all violence”. In the same vein, Esteban Ibarra, president of the Movement against Intolerance has emphasized that “impunity is the main ally of violence and hate crimes, not to cut this escalation could end in a serious spiral of political violence”.