January 24, 2021

Pedraza offers a one stop shop for victims of terrorism in Madrid

Pedraza offers a one stop shop for victims of terrorism in Madrid



The commissioner for victims of terrorism in the Community of Madrid, Angeles Pedraza, says she faces her appointment "with great enthusiasm and with much desire" to offer "a single window" to which this group can go in the region, instead of having to knock on the doors of the different Councils.

Ángeles Pedraza (1957) lost her daughter in the attacks of 11-M, was president of the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) between 2010 and 2016 and, since then, is president of honor of this entity.

In an interview with Efe, Pedraza highlights the importance of his role in the Office of the Commissioner to apply the Regional Law on Protection, Recognition and Memory of the Victims of Terrorism, approved this month at the Madrid Assembly.

"The Community of Madrid, which houses the capital, which is the benchmark and which is the site where there are more victims of terrorism could not stop having this Law," says the commissioner, after recalling that eleven autonomies already have laws in this matter.

To "equalize criteria", he expresses his wish that all Spanish communities have this regulation, which Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria, Castilla-La Mancha, Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands do not have.

Pedraza explains that the Madrid law "complements" the state legislation to support and protect victims of terrorism.

It has an integral and retroactive character, aimed at guaranteeing not only economic compensation, but also a series of rights of a social nature in the health, social, educational, employment or housing areas.

"It has been a very elaborate law, which led in its electoral program the regional president, Cristina Cifuentes, and whose processing culminated the current president of Madrid, Angel Garrido, until its approval in the regional Parliament," he says.

Among the important issues included in the Law, it is worth mentioning the celebration of tributes to the victims of terrorism "every year", irrespective of the political party that governs, on March 11, European Day of Victims of Terrorism, and on the 27th of June, Victims of Terrorism Day.

One of its main objectives is to achieve "that there is agility and that the commissioner is a single window, where the victim of terrorism carries his file, let's see what he needs and what is his due and not have to be knocking at the doors of different Counseling ", he emphasizes.

The Office of the Commissioner for Victims of Terrorism will have in 2019 a budget of 5 million euros, expandable to 15 million.

In the Community of Madrid it is estimated that there may be some 3,000 victims of terrorism (574 mortals and 2,399 injured).

Pedraza, who will take office on Monday, shows his disagreement with the approach of ETA prisoners to the Basque Country, although he admits that "there are cases and cases" and that, sometimes, "there is no alternative but to apply the law" .

"I honestly would not give them any concessions, they were murderers, they are murderers and they will die as murderers (…) We victims have always asked them to comply with the full sentences, we do not ask for revenge," he says.

Pedraza calls on the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, to think about the victims, that "we would never have wanted to have this condition" and that before promoting the approach of ETA prisoners to the Basque Country or granting them some benefit, they should cooperate with justice to clarify murders that have occurred more than thirty years ago.

As a member of the National Board of Directors of the PP, she admits that, for the 2019 municipal and regional elections, she would like the lists of the PP to the City Council and the Community to be headed by José Luis Martínez-Almeida and Ángel Garrido, although she is convinced that the leader of the PP, Pablo Casado, will choose the best candidates.

By Ximena Hessling

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