Misc 13/11/2020

The father of boy who died in Rambla terror attack: "My struggle has been to find out what we can do so that it doesn't happen again."

The judge cuts off his statement for not limiting himself to the specific facts of the attacks

Ot Serra
2 min
Mohammed Houli, Driss Oukabir i Said ben Iazza, acusats al judici pels atemptats del 17-A

MadridIn the trial on the 2017 terrorist attacks in the Rambla in Barcelona and in Cambrils, the testimony of Javier Martínez, the father of the three-year-old boy from Rubí who died as a result of being run over by the van which the jihadists drove down the Rambla, was heard on Friday. "There was a silence that I will never forget in my life," he said, moved by the "harshness" of remembering the events. "I want to send a hug to all the victims," he said. Beyond the event itself, Martínez wanted to explain his "struggle" these three years, but Judge Alfonso Guevara has ended up cutting him off when he saw what the grieving father really intended was to question the investigation.

"Seeing that the [psychological] treatment offered by the authorities was not correct, that there were things that could have been avoided - feelings of hate, anger. indignation, depression- I took them and put them together and made a cause. I have tried to investigate, how to protect the daughters I have left. In this process, for three years I have talked to people who know about the subject, from the political and judicial spheres, to change the protocol for the victims. Looking for what we can do so that this does not happen again has been my struggle," said Martinez.

Martinez explained that he wanted this tragedy to "serve a good purpose", and that is why he embraced an imam, he said. When he was about to say that he wanted the Muslim community not to be criminalised, he was interrupted by Guevara, who warned him that there were no relevant issues for him to relate as witness. "Enough", concluded the magistrate when Martínez stated that he had been approached by people who "made him doubt the investigation". The father of the dead boy has been one of the most prominent voices in favour of going beyond prosecution of the accused and criticising the attention given to the victims.

In this regard, another victim, Núria Suara, has regretted that she has not been recognised as a victim of terrorism and has not been granted permanent work leave. On 17 August 2017 she was working as a florist on the Rambla and explained that she was "shocked" and "froze" after the van hit her stall. "Now I live in a village. I've never been able to go back to the Rambla," she said.