Interior has only compensated a third of the victims of the attacks in Catalonia

Attention to the victims of the attacks in Catalonia in August 2017 is not going to go down in the manuals precisely as a reference to follow. Spain, despite being the European country with the longest history of terrorist acts and despite having specific legislation since 1999 on aid to the victims of these attacks, has left without compensation two thirds of the victims of the different scenes of the attacks five years ago (the two explosions in Alcanar, Las Ramblas, the beheading of Pau Pérez, the attempted theft of a vehicle by Younes Abouyaaqoub and the shooting that ended the life of the latter).

According to the Ministry of the Interior’s own statistics, of the 355 of the victims that appear in the ruling of the National High Court of May 2021 on those events, only 130 have obtained “some type of compensation or help.” In other words, only 36.6% of the people who appear in the ruling have received some type of compensation or help, although in principle all of them should have been entitled to it.

Timeline of victims

August 16th

first explosion

in Alcanar

13 wounded

17 of August

run over in

the Ramblas

14 deceased

82 stress victims

post-traumatic

escape from

Abouyaaqoub

by Barcelona

1 deceased

Pau Perez

Slain by Y.

Abouyaaqoub

during the flight

August 18th

Attack in Cambrils

1 deceased

August 21

attempted robbery of

a vehicle for

Abouyaaqoub part

in Olerdola

1 injured

abatement of

abouyaaqoub in

Subirats

two stress victims

post-traumatic

various dates

Other related cases

with the attacks

eleven post traumatic stress victims

Source: Own elaboration with information

of the Ministry of the Interior.

Timeline of victims

August 16th

first explosion

in Alcanar

13 wounded

17 of August

Run over on the Ramblas

14 deceased

82 stress victims

post-traumatic

Escape from Abouyaaqoub

by Barcelona

1 deceased

Pau Perez

Slain by Y. Abouyaaqoub

during the flight

August 18th

Attack in Cambrils

1 deceased

August 21

attempted robbery of

one vehicle per

abouyaaqoub in

Olerdola

1 injured

abatement of

abouyaaqoub in

Subirats

two stress victims

post-traumatic

various dates

Other cases related to the attacks

eleven post traumatic stress victims

Source: Own elaboration with information

of the Ministry of the Interior.

Timeline of victims

August 16th

First explosion in Alcanar

13 wounded

17 of August

Run over on the Ramblas

14 deceased

82 stress victims

post-traumatic

Second explosion in Alcanar

22 wounded

Escape from Abouyaaqoub through Barcelona

1 deceased

August 18th

Attack in Cambrils

1 deceased

August 21

Attempted theft of a vehicle by Abouyaaqoub in Olèrdola

1 injured

Dejection of Abouyaaqoub in Subirats

two post traumatic stress victims

various dates

Other cases related to the attacks

eleven post traumatic stress victims

Source: Own elaboration with information from the Ministry of the Interior.

Timeline of victims

August 16th

first explosion

in Alcanar

13 wounded

17 of August

run over in

the Ramblas

14 deceased

82 stress victims

post-traumatic

second explosion

in Alcanar

22 wounded

Escape from Abouyaaqoub

by Barcelona

1 deceased

August 18th

Attack in Cambrils

1 deceased

August 21

Attempted vehicle theft by

Abouyaaqoub in Olèrdola

1 injured

various dates

Other related cases

with the attacks

eleven stress victims

post-traumatic

abatement of

Abouyaaqoub in Subirats

two stress victims

post-traumatic

Source: Own elaboration with information from the Ministry of the Interior.

Always according to the data of the department headed by Fernando Grande-Marlaska, part of the explanation for such a low percentage of compensated victims is due to the fact that of those 355, only 216 requested compensation from the Ministry of the Interior “within the expected one year period. in article 28 of Law 29/2011» (the Law of Recognition and Comprehensive Protection of Victims of Terrorism).

Even so, the Interior admits that it has rejected “for different reasons” the requests of 84 victims who did appear in the sentence and who, therefore, had judicially recognized the status of victims, which has not prevented the Administration from gave them that condition. In any case, Interior does not specify the technical criteria on which these refusals are based.

Officials from the Ministry of the Interior insist that 139 of the “people included in the section on proven facts” have not submitted any request for aid or compensation within the deadline. “The reason why no type of help has been requested is unknown, although a large majority of those affected correspond to the people who, in the section of proven facts of the judgment referring to the Ramblas, appear as having suffered from Down syndrome. post-traumatic stress (a total of 82 affected, of which 66 have not requested any type of help), and the rest (73) are mostly affected with minor injuries and sequelae, ”they add from the Interior.

They have requested compensation

They have not requested compensation

Victims with stress

post-traumatic

victims with

minor injuries

*Of the applications rejected, there are still two that are being processed.

processing

They have requested compensation

They have not requested compensation

victims with

minor injuries

victims

with stress

post-traumatic

*Of the rejected applications there are still two that are being processed

They have requested compensation

They have not requested compensation

victims with

minor injuries

victims

with stress

post-traumatic

*Of the rejected applications there are still two that are being processed

The total amount of compensation recognized by the Ministry of the Interior for the attacks in Catalonia in August 2017 currently amounts to 7,338,798.78 euros.

The figures handled by the Interior, however, do not correspond much less to the real size of those affected, according to the data handled by the main non-governmental or institutional organization that is dealing with the care of the vast majority of the victims of the attacks five years ago, the Unit for Attention and Assessment of People Affected by Terrorism (UAVAT).

half a thousand

According to the UAVAT studies, the percentage of victims of the attacks in Catalonia would be much higher than the administration recognizes, since its technicians have located at least 129 people injured in the summary, which, however, do not appear in the sentence, so the real number of victims of the attacks would be close to half a thousand.

“What has happened in these attacks is a real shame. The Ministry of the Interior has done almost nothing in these five years to try to locate the victims. They limited themselves to opening an office between August 22 and 29, 2017 somewhere in Barcelona that they did not publicize and then they completely disregarded following up on the victims and, much less, trying to find them, ”says Robert Manrique, advisor to the UAVAT and himself a victim of the ETA attack on the Hipercor in Barcelona. Manrique also recalls that, given the vacation spots where the attacks took place, there are victims of a total of 30 nationalities, with which the situation of ignorance of Spanish legislation is even greater.

The Kings lay flowers on the improvised altar for the victims of the attack on Las Ramblas. /

AFP

«In these five years, the Ministry of the Interior has always insisted that they are not there to look for the victims and that it is the victims who have to get in touch, but they completely forget that Law 29/2011 itself is the one that it forces the Administration to be proactive in its attention, something that the Interior is not doing at all”, points out Manrique. The leader of the UAVAT refers in particular to article 11 of that text, which establishes that “the competent Public Administrations will establish, in a coordinated manner, in their respective spheres and competences, the information mechanisms that allow knowing the procedures to obtain the aid , indemnifications and benefits that correspond».

“Despite the fact that Spain has experienced the biggest attack in Europe with 11-M and despite the fact that the attacks in Catalonia, fortunately, were smaller than those on the trains, the Administration has not learned anything,” insists Robert Manrique .

Relatives of the victims at the scene of the attack. /

EFE

“In the Ministry of the Interior they call it the General Directorate of Support for Victims of Terrorism, but it is a mere processing office, they neither support nor help nor are they proactive,” denounces Sara Bosch, a forensic specialist in post-traumatology at the UAVAT, who insists that Interior «moves in the legality, but they are being perverse in their denial arguments. They are perfectly aware of the shortcomings, that the deadlines are very short, but they live in self-complacency».

“In the Ministry of the Interior, nobody is worrying about locating or monitoring the dozens of people who suffered post-traumatic stress and whose symptoms are emerging over the years,” explains Elisa Micciola, forensic psychologist at UAVAT. . “Injuries from an attack do not end on the day of the attack,” recalls the specialist.

Judge Guevara: “They have been the great forgotten”

What happened in the care of the victims of the 2017 attacks is especially “lacerating” for all the UAVAT technicians because until October 2018, when more than a year had passed since the attacks and therefore the possibility of claiming damage, a first list of victims was not made public with the publication of the indictment.

And it is that the failures and irregularities towards the victims of these attacks appear everywhere. In at least 20% of the 355 victims recognized in the sentence, justice unambiguously admits that it does not have a forensic health report on them, much less on their evolution. At least 182 of the victims of the judicial resolution have never been contacted or found. And the problem – they insist from the UAVAT – is that only public administrations can do it because the Data Protection Law prevents an association from contacting them. Although it would also not matter because there would no longer be a right to any compensation.

In the end, the facts have given reason to the rapporteur of the sentence on those attacks. Alfonso Guevara, on page 992 of his ruling, wrote: “the victims have been the great forgotten during the investigation.”

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