Alfonso L. Congostrina
Barcelona 1 OCT 2019 – 10:53 CEST
Head of Mossos (Catalan police) who justified the charges against the CDR resigns
Andreu Martínez leaves his charge claiming that he has met the objectives that had been set
New tsunami in the dome of the Mossos d’Esquadra at the gates of the trial judgment of the process. The general director of the Mossos, Andreu Martínez, has presented – on the eve of the second anniversary of the illegal consultation on October 1 – his resignation as political head of the Catalan police. He has spent 15 months in office and under his leadership the riot police repeatedly charged against the CDR, which earned him the unauthorization of Catalan President Quim Torra. Martínez – who is a career officer – will be replaced by Pere Ferrer, a politician related to the independence cause.
Andreu Martínez acceded to the position in June 2018 replacing Pere Soler, one of the charges appointed by Carles Puigdemont who were dismissed when article 155 was activated. Martinez’s replacement will be Pere Ferrer, with a greater political profile, and true to the cause initiated by the escaped president Carles Puigdemont.
The director of Mossos leaves the police after 15 months in which he has been questioned internally and externally.
Internally, last fall Martinez endured the biggest crisis as head of the Mossos. On September 30, the Catalan police riot police charged dozens of CDRs concentrated in the center of Barcelona to try to block a demonstration called by the Jusapol police union that intended to honor the Civil Guard and National Police agents who intervened in the Electoral schools on October 1, 2017. The Catalan police avoided the clash between groups but the image of Mossos bombed with paint and subsequent police charges did not quite please independentista deputies. The biggest predicament Martinez endured was yet to come. On December 6, in Girona, the riot police of the Mossos d’Esquadra charged again against dozens of independence activists trying to prevent a concentration of Vox militants. The images of the regional police charging against separatist protesters were repeated in Terrassa. Martínez defended the police action but Torra himself questioned her. Weeks later the riot chief was relegated and months later the chief commissar of the body, Miquel Esquius.
The independence forces have also repeatedly questioned that the Mossos have always obeyed the judicial orders that forced them to withdraw the yellow ties that Torra insists on maintaining in the Palace of the Generalitat. These disagreements have caused, according to sources of the body, that the Catalan Government loses confidence in Martinez.
Externally, on October 1, 2018 — when the president of the Generalitat asked the members of the CDR to “push” [in favor of the independence cause] – the director of Mossos had to explain why the regional police it allowed altercations at the doors of the Parliament and even risked the security of the agents allowing the CDRs to reach the doors of the legislative building without ordering charges.
The new CEO of Mossos will be the current chief of staff of the adviser Miquel Buch, Pere Ferrer. Ferrer entered Interior at the hands of Jordi Jané and worked with Joaquim Forn. Before, he was chief of staff of the Department of Mobility in Barcelona at the time of Xavier Trias.
An Interior spokeswoman has denied today that Martinez’s resignation is related to the proximity of the “hot autumn.” The official version of the counseling is that the director presents his resignation “to understand that he has achieved the objectives that had been set for this stage.” The spokeswoman defended that among these objectives are the new calls for agents and the incorporation of the Catalan police into the Intelligence Center against Terrorism and Organized Crime (Citco).
Martinez’s resignation comes a week after Buch dismissed the head of communication from his department, Joana Vallès, after the Mossos announced that they would use pepper gas to contain disturbances this fall. The substitute for Vallès is the journalist Joan Maria Piqué, denounced in 2017 by the NGO Reporters Without Borders because of the pressures exerted against several foreign journalists during the secessionist process. Piqué has also been publicly denounced by several journalists for their pressure methods.
The 1,400 body riot police were informed on Monday that they should be available for mobilization at any time this fall.