The Basque Vice-Lehendakari and Security Councilor, Josu Erkoreka. (Photo: IREKIA Europa Press)
A total of eight members of a violent youth gang, calling itself ‘Los Hermanos Koala’, have been arrested for the brutal beating that a 23-year-old boy received last Sunday in the Biscayan town of Amorebieta-Etxano and who is admitted in serious condition at the Hospital de Cruces.
In addition, it is analyzed whether those arrested have been able to commit a crime of attempted homicide, since in the videos available, shouts of “kill him” are heard.
The first vice president and security adviser, Josu Erkoreka, explained this Thursday at a press conference that the operation is still open. The Ertzaintza, in collaboration with the Local Police, continues to work on the identification and location of all the perpetrators of the attack. Therefore, it does not rule out that, in the next few hours, more arrests may occur.
As he has specified, those arrested, five of them minors, belong to a gang with a criminal record and are old acquaintances of the regional police, who already had them on their radar “as a conflictive and violent gang.”
Participation in similar events
Erkoreka has pointed out that these criminals have participated “previously” in similar events in other places, especially in Bizkaia, where they reside.
The vice-lehendakari has congratulated the police force “for their swift and efficient action” after the brutal beating. In his opinion, it is a work “of excellent quality, which in a very short time has made it possible to put solid and conclusive evidence against these people on the judge’s table, in relation to a matter that worries the public”, to the These are “very serious” events. In addition, it was feared that these people could act again and the violent episodes could “reproduce”.
The arrest of these eight members of the violent youth organization has occurred in different Biscayan localities, since they reside in different municipalities. After recalling that one of them turned himself in, he clarified that the rest have been detained after conducting investigations.
Josu Erkoreka has not ruled out that this beating was an attempted murder attempt. “We must remember the voices heard in the videos (in which they said” kill him “) and we must elucidate in the investigation what was the will of the aggressors, if it was to cause an injury, if it went further or if , in tune with those who cheered on them, they even tried to end their lives in a violent way ”.
The band is not recent: “It has precedents in a previous generation that also manifested violently and in groups some years ago. Now it emerges or reorganizes itself through a younger generation ”, Erkoreka pointed out.
A hate crime
The vice-lehendakari has indicated that he does not know if a hate crime has been committed in this case, since it will be the investigation that determines it. In any case, he said that there is a special sensitivity to hate crimes in the Basque Country.
“The hate component is more present in the complaints and police and judicial actions that take place in the Basque Country than in other autonomous communities and is not due to the fact that the hate component is more present in the Basque Country than elsewhere, but rather because there is a greater social conscience ”, he remarked.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.