INTRODUCTION: Police in Spain have been using their sweeping new powers in an attempt by the Government to clamp down on the recent wave of political violence which has swept the nation.
INTRODUCTION: Police in Spain have been using their sweeping new powers in an attempt by the Government to clamp down on the recent wave of political violence which has swept the nation. In the wake of murders, kidnapping and riots by both right and left wing factions, the Spanish Government has re-established sweeping anti-terrorism laws. These enable police to search property and detain people indefinitely without court interference.
SYNOPSIS: As thousands turned out in Madrid on Saturday (29 January) for a brief funeral mass for three murdered policemen, security forces elsewhere were busy arresting more than a hundred suspected left-wing activists. A mysterious group called GRAPO, which calls itself left-sing, claimed responsibility for the policemen's murder on Friday (28 January), when they were move down by machine-gun fire outside a bank. But the group is officially suspected of being a disguise for right-sing agitators who are aiming at stopping the country's progress from dictatorship to democracy.
The policemen's funeral ceremony outside Madrid's military hospital, was interrupted by shouts from mourners for the resignation of the Government's Interior Minister, Rodolfo Martin Villa. Senor Villa was at the mass representing the Government. As the coffins were carried out f the building, there were also cries of 'out with the government' and 'down with communism'. Some of the civil guards in the crowd broke into a military hymn, drowning a priest's prayer for the dead men's souls.
The coffins were later driven away to provincial cities for burial, to the accompaniment of insults aimed at the government by policemen shouting 'Franco, Franco' and calling for a return to the late dictator's methods of government with shouts of 'less democratic progress and more authority'. The three dead policemen were responding to a call for help in an apparent bank robbery when they were shot by the world-e raiders, later suspected of staging a mock robbery to attract police to the scene.
Official source said GRAPO were also suspected of killing four left-wing lawyers and a legal assistant in a machine-gun murder five days earlier. The Spanish forces' Chief of General staff, Lieutenant-General Carlos Fernandez Vallespin, said on Saturday that he thought the killings were part of a plan to stop the nation's political evolution.