On the eve of Spain’s Constitution Day which commemorates the restoration of democracy after 40 years of dictatorship, Spain´s military have come under the spotlight – for the wrong reasons.
The issue centres on a formal complaint that has been made to the Public Prosecutor’s Office about a WhatsApp chat group involving retired members of the Spanish Armed Forces, that included chat messages stating that ‘there is no other choice but to start executing 26 million sons-of-bitches’.
The contents of the chat group were first brought to light on Wednesday by the online publication infoLibre. Other messages were also published including ones threatening Catalan pro-independence civic group, the Catalan National Assembly (ANC).
At centre is retired colonel, Francisco Beca, who is believed to be behind the post calling for the execution of the “26 million sons-of-bitches’.
Another retired high-ranking official also wrote that ‘someone will have to start doing something (legal or illegal) against these sons-of-bitches [ANC]’.
It had been previously reported in the Catalan El Nacional that the Spanish Civil Guard had claimed that in 2017, Russia made an offer to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont to pay ” Catalonia’s international debt and to make available 10,000 soldiers to the Catalan authorities, at the time of the Catalan referendum on independence from Spain”.
The document went on to conclude that “if he had accepted, the events would probably have been tragic and would have triggered an armed conflict in the [Spanish] state with an unknown number of fatalities.”
Reacting to the Whastapp group, the Socialist minister for defence, Margarita Robles, has been reported as asking for the public prosecutor to investigate the ‘possible criminal relevance’ of the contents of the WhatsApp messages.
Members of the group called ‘La XIX del Aire’ (19th graduating class of the Spanish Air Force Academy) had also recently signed a letter sent by 73 former military officials to king Felipe VI, expressing concern about the “unity of Spain” and which in turn followed a similar petition sent to the monarch by 39 retired Air Force officials.