The Mossos d’Esquadra confront the CDRs in a pro-independence demonstration in Barcelona, in October 2020. (Photo: LLUIS GENE via . via .)
The judge of the National Court Manuel García Castellón has proposed to try 13 alleged members of a radicalized faction of the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR) for a crime of terrorism that allegedly planned sabotage or violent actions in companies and official headquarters of Catalonia in 2019.
The magistrate has responded to the request of the Prosecutor’s Office in an order in which he agrees to prosecute them for a crime of belonging to a terrorist organization, to which he adds others of possession, storage and manufacture of explosive and flammable substances or devices of a terrorist nature for nine of them .
The order indicates that those investigated share ideological principles favorable to independence and radical activism, and adds that their objective was to achieve the independence of Catalonia, using violence in its maximum expression.
Most of the defendants – grouped under the so-called Tactical Resistance Team (ERT) – were arrested in September 2019 in what is known as Operation Judas for allegedly planning violent actions in anticipation of the anniversary of October 1, the date on which the Catalan independence referendum, declared illegal, was held two years before; and the judgment of the Supreme Court against sovereign leaders.
Among the thirteen defendants is the Deputy Mayor of the Sentmenat City Council (Barcelona), Queralt Casoliva (CUP-Amunt).
According to the resolution, they were grouped into the so-called Tactical Response Team (ERT), a radical cell within the CDRs created by the need to have a clandestine group of maximum confidence, totally devoted to “the cause” to those who the most sensitive actions were entrusted to them.
“Using violence at its finest”
The judge affirms that they shared ideological principles favorable to the independence of Catalonia and radical activism, and that their objective was to achieve it by using violence in its maximum expression and by forcing, in a coercive way, the institutions.
García Castellón accepts in his order the thesis of the Civil Guard and the Prosecutor’s Office and recalls that the members of the ERT have participated in forceful actions such as roadblocks or the lifting of toll barriers.
They also intervened, continues the car, in the creation and development of the coordination centers (CECOR) and assumed the order received from a so-called “Catalan CNI” to provide logistics infrastructure to undertake an action in which it was intended to occupy and defend the Parlament.
The occupation would be carried out through the main door and the plan contemplated the rental of properties to stay inside for at least a week, mounting antennas to maintain communications, with an estimated budget of 6,000 euros.
After the investigation, the judge concludes that the cell allegedly formed by the defendants “raised the intensity and nature of the actions carried out to a higher level,” and recalls that when it was dismantled some members had already carried out preparatory acts in recognition of objectives, surveillance of police installations, and the taking of photographs and videos of accesses, cameras, location of electrical towers, agents and license plates of police vehicles.
The objectives of the CDRs
Regarding the alleged objectives, the order mentions the Naval Command of Barcelona, the Military Government of Barcelona, the Government Delegation of Barcelona, the Prosecutor’s Office of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia, the Headquarters of the Command of the Civil Guard of Barcelona, members, vehicles and police facilities, high voltage towers, facilities on highways, tolls or the Parliament.
In the judge’s opinion, the recognition of the perimeter of the barracks of the Barcelona Civil Guard headquarters, carried out by the defendant Jordi Ros, who also – says the order – would have carried out different searches on the Internet on people linked to political parties contrary to independence and a mosso d’Esquadra.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.