Sat. Feb 23rd, 2019

Mossos in the eye of the hurricane again

Mossos en el ojo del huracán otra vez

The mossos d'esquadra of the Brimo (mobile or riot squad) and the Arro (regional areas of operational resources) do what they have to do; sometimes better and others worse, but they work without making distinctions. We would not be talking right now if the protesters who attacked the police line in Girona and Terrassa on Thursday had been sympathetic to Vox. "

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In front of a cup of tea yesterday at noon on a terrace Barcelona, a commissar of the Mossos d'Esquadra I was reflecting aloud on the latest crisis, in which if no one redresses it in time, the Mossos will be immersed again. Few police organizations are so accustomed to being in the eye of the hurricane, at the feet of horses or in the midst of controversy as the Catalan police. On this occasion, the main police officers try to remain calm knowing that what is coming is a crisis "strictly political, that politicians will see how they solve it". Of course, also aware that it ended up splashing.

Changes in riot control

Two weeks ago the chief of the brigade was informed of a promotion in the organization

The leak of the first statements of President Quim Torra from Slovenia giving a harsh ultimatum to the Minister of Interior for four days to order cessations, without specifying if he wants them in the department or in the police, and demanding a new protocol of action in demonstrations , caught the political leaders of the Mossos by surprise. At the press conference on Thursday afternoon offered the director of the police, Andreu Martínez, and yesterday in a round by several media outlets Minister Miquel Buch, both politicians had endorsed the police devices of Girona and Terrassa, warning of that if images were found that showed bad praxis, these would be refined. To explain that, Buch used in Catalunya Ràdio an expression that just outraged a police group that has never been especially happy: "I will not shake the pulse to throw agents of the Brimo if the files opened against them conclude that they acted unduly ", to add that some images of the actions of the Mossos in Girona and Terrassa" do not conform to the principles of a democratic police. "

The Department of the Interior tried hours after softening Buch's words recognizing that surely it had not been the best way to explain that any possible police malpractice will be examined on Thursday, to correct and punish it if it is considered convenient, how it is always done after each manifestation of complex management.

Buch made those statements pressed by Torra and without having all the information, not even the report on the two public order devices that were developed in Girona and in Terrassa. To begin with, no file had been opened yesterday against Brimo agents. Among other things because some of the controversial images that the conseller referred to did not correspond to the riot police of the Brimo, but to the Arro, more specialized in citizen security than in public order.

The appointment in Palau

Buch says that "my pulse will not shake if I have to throw riot agents"

Specifically, it is a sequence recorded on video and spread quickly in social networks in which a group of Mossos hits a protester who tries to get up and is shot down several times, while trying to escape the defenses (batons ). Different police commanders recognized that these images, without obtaining the complete sequence, correspond without a doubt to a police malpractice.

But the minister did not say, as yesterday reminded some managers, that the organization already has internal systems to analyze these malpractices, assess them, correct them and if they consider a serious offense, raise the issue at the controls, or even make intervention the Internal Affairs Division. "What is not tolerable is that from abroad, the president of the Generalitat questions the legitimacy of the police for which he is responsible and demands cessation without having listened to those responsible for his police and allowing himself to be carried away only by the images he has seen in social networks and what a member of the CUP has been able to tell her. "

This Sunday, Buch and Torra will meet at the Palau de la Generalitat to "see the images together and make decisions," explained the minister. This will have had all day today to study the reports prepared by the station of operational resources, with the devices that were prepared in Girona and Terrassa.

They have nothing to do with one another. In fact, at the top of the police yesterday self-criticism was made about the previous assessment that was made of the demonstration in the afternoon. The anti-system protest exceeded expectations, so much so that in the operation there was no presence of the Brimo, only of the Arro, and the maximum police command of the device was the head of the Rubí police station, there were not even Terrassa's charges, or the controls of the police region.

The consequences

The commissioners of the body insist that the crisis is political but that they will be sprinkled

In any case, that is another debate. The question now is to know how Torra's public request to roll heads for Thursday's proceedings is satisfied. Some responsible for the conselleria and design a possible way out of the crisis. Two weeks ago, the headquarters of the Mossos proposed to the intendant Carles Hernández, head of the Brimo, a change of destiny. It was not a punishment, on the contrary. For many, Hernández is a rising value within the organization, he has been at the head of the riot police for six years, he has been responsible for the latest changes and understands the team of the head of the Mossos, Miquel Esquius, that the time had come to take advantage of other changes that will be made in the organization to give another turn to the Brimo.

Although the relay has not been made official, and last night very few people were aware of it, this option was considered as an exit to the crisis to please those who ask for heads. Yes, the police commanders who proposed the change of destiny of Mayor Hernandez will not now allow the relief to be interpreted as a punishment.

And meanwhile, the whole of the unions of mossos, including the two organizations of commanders, signed yesterday a new joint text criticizing the words of Torra and Buch; and demanding once again that the police cease to be instrumentalized and used as a bargaining chip.

New mobilizations

The police base prepares new protests for next week

The base, which in recent months has manifested itself several times demanding the resignation of the conseller, wore the fingers exchanging complaints and laments in the crowded Telegram group that brings together many outraged police.

On the table have several proposals for mobilization, including a prior to the great protest that next day 12 have called the public officials of the Catalan administration. "Strike of fallen arms. Not a mosso working that day. " Those were some of the initiatives poured into a Telegram channel that yesterday threw fire.

But there is another subsequent appointment that worries the department and that on Sunday Buch will remind Torra in his meeting. Next Friday, December 21 there is a meeting of the Council of Ministers in Barcelona; and several are announced announcements to boycott the summit. "With what confidence we designed the security and public order device of that day if the president of the Generalitat, our highest political authority, has already made clear to us who is telephoning after a demonstration with wounded and who encourages them not to lower their guard" , summarizes that same commissioner, without time to have tea because of so much thinking he has been frozen.

Political controversies

Cameras in police stations

The management of the Mossos d'Esquadra has always been observed with severity. One of the first controversies was the installation of surveillance cameras in the rooms attached to the cells. The initiative of the then conseller Joan Saura provoked a bitter controversy in which the agents themselves were implicated.

Plaza de Catalunya

The demonstrations of the 15-M in Barcelona ended in the Plaza de Catalunya with a controversial police charge in May 2011. The agents charged against a crowd gathered in the square with the aim of "cleaning it." The performance, under the mandate of the conseller Felip Puig, generated a great controversy and the group knew how to make their self-criticism.

Surround the Parlament

A few days after the incidents in Plaça Catalunya there was a protest action that was intended to surround the Parlament. The police operation to guarantee that the deputies could access the chamber to vote the budgets ended in a true chaos that some deputies suffered in their flesh.

The rubber balls

Some riot gear has been subject to political controversy, specifically rubber balls. Ester Quintana lost an eye as a result of a rubber ball fired after a demonstration in the general strike of November 14, 2012. The controversy ended with the ban on this ammunition since April 2014.

October 1st

The role played by the Mossos d'Esquadra in the previous days and during the celebration of the 1-O has been the object of a long political controversy that finally was transferred to the judicial institutions, where several police commanders and different political leaders are being investigated by the events of those days.

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