Elections in Madrid
Politics 28/04/2021

Another letter intercepted with two possible firearm cartridges for Zapatero

Bal (Cs) unsuccessfully proposes to ither candidates that they commit to recognise "the right to express ideas in freedom"

2 min
The former Spanish president, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, pronouncing the Santa Eulàlia proclamation at the Borne Cultural Centre, last September

MadridA new threatening letter has been sent during the elections in Madrid, this time against ex president of the Spanish government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. This makes it six, after the ones received by the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; the Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto; the PP and Unidas Podemos candidates, Isabel Diaz Ayuso and Pablo Iglesias; and the director general of the Guardia Civil, Maria Gamez. The Ministry of the Interior has confirmed this morning that the security systems of a post office in Vallecas have intercepted a letter addressed to Zapatero that contained "two possible firearm cartridges". The case is already in the hands of state security forces.

"These bullets are directed against coexistence, against democracy. We have to stop this spiral of hatred, which directly attacks our values. Let's not allow rage to take hold of society," tweeted Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez after the new letter became known. In the letter, the addressee wishes the former president to have his "meninges burst from the eyebrows". The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has also expressed his rejection: "All my support, José Luis. Enough threats and violence." Iglesias also denounced that an online shop sells T-shirts with his face on a target accompanied by the phrase "Marquis shooting season".

At the moment leaders of the PSOE, the PP and Unidas Podemos have been the target of threats, but it has been Ciudadanos who has pushed for all candidates to sign a joint statement. Their candidate Edmundo Bal is committed to "condemning all expressions of violence, including threats, coercion and finger-pointing, regardless of who it is directed at or who commits it"; "renounce speeches that justify these anti-democratic practices, criminalise political adversaries and promote confrontation between citizens", and "promote a pact for harmony and coexistence that begins by recognising everyone's right to express their ideas in freedom". No other party has wanted to give Cs prominence and the statement will not have any more signatures than Bal's own.

The socialist candidate, Ángel Gabilondo, has vindicated his "life fighting for consensus and coexistence"; the candidate for Más Madrid, Mónica García, has branded Ciudadanos as "cynical" for having governed with the support of Vox, and Ayuso has stressed that signing this statement would be like putting in writing that "no child will be beaten in school". The acting president has chosen to downplay to the multiple episodes of threats in recent days. When she found out about the threatening letter addressed to her which was seized in Sant Cugat del Vallès and is already being investigated by a court in Rubí, she stressed that it should be given the importance it deserved: "None".

"Tension favours PSOE".

The president of the PP, Pablo Casado, has subscribed to the same thesis and has asked for "serenity". In an act in Aranjuez to present an organic law for the protection of victims of terrorism, he recalled precisely words uttered by Zapatero in 2008, in which he said that "tension" favoured PSOE. "In Spain there is not a problem of coexistence, there is a problem of polarisation instigated by a desperate government because it sees that it will lose the elections in Madrid," said the leader of the conservative formation.