Politics 21/08/2021

Police arrest 81-year-old accused of issuing death threats against Aragonès

Police have released him after seizing an arsenal of 11 weapons from his home

2 min
The weapons of the presumed author of the threat to Aragonese seized by the Mossos d'Esquadra

BarcelonaThe Mossos d'Esquadra have arrested an 81-year-old this Thursday in Manresa accused of issuing death threats against the president of the Generalitat, Pere Aragonès. The threats came in the form of three letters that also referred to other pro-independence leaders and which were intercepted by the Catalan police following the Generalitat's protocols. That is, they never reached Aragonès. Specifically, the missives were written in the first person plural, were signed in the name of "anti-independentistas" and insisted on the use of firearms against the president, as advanced by La Vanguardia and confirmed by the police. The alleged author of the threat was arrested on Thursday morning in Manresa, as the police felt the urge to act once they learnt the man held weapons in his home. Four handguns and seven long guns, for which he had a valid license, have been confiscated by police. The individual is being investigated for a crime of threats on ideological grounds and the police have released him.

The facts date back to June 22, when the investigators of the Mossos learnt that the Generalitat had received two letters addressed to the president with threatening content: the author assured that he would attack president and other government party officials using firearms for ideological reasons.

When the investigation was already under way, on 23 July, the Generalitat received a third letter with similar content. On this occasion, the threats were exclusively against Aragonès and the envelopes had a Manresa postmark. After almost two months of investigation, the police have identified the supposed author of the threats and his location.

Threats filed

It is not the first time that a president of the Generalitat has received death threats the police give credence to. For example, Aragonès's two immediate predecessors, Quim Torra and Carles Puigdemont both received threats. In December 2017, for example, a video in which a man on a Spanish army tank is seen threatening Puigdemont and former Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias. The former president denounced these facts but the case was filed. The judge considered it "a farce without any intimidating value". In addition, when he served as president, Puigdemont received several death threats via Twitter.

A month ago Madrid court number 3 agreed to file the cases of the letters containing bullets sent to Iglesias; the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; and the director of the Guardia Civil, María Gámez; during the Madrid election campaign. The magistrate then considered that, "although the facts could be constitutive of a crime," they found no data to identify those responsible, unlike what has happened with Aragonès.

The Minister of Industry, Reyes Maroto, received a note with a red-stained knife during the Madrid election campaign, although in this case the sender was identified as an El Escorial resident with mental health problems. On the eve of 4-M, new threats to Iglesias arrived, and the president of the Madrid region, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and the former president of the Spanish government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, also received threatening letters. Specifically, in the case of the president of Madrid, a letter with two bullets addressed to Ayuso was intercepted in Sant Cugat del Vallès and the Catalan police took charge of the investigation.