Spain’s Guardia Civil marks 175th anniversary with Madrid ceremony

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ANNIVERSARY: The Guardia Civil is 175 years old this year. CREDIT: Royal Household, via Twitter


THE Guardia Civil marked 175 years since its founding this week with ceremonies and parades across the country.

Chief Colonel Diego Perez de los Cobox Orihuel was joined by Tres Cantos Mayor Jesus Moreno for a ceremony at its Madrid Region headquarters.

Tres Cantos Council said in a statement the Guardia Civil had always been committed to its principles and values.

Another ceremony took place in Aragon’s Teruel City and was attended by the Guardia Civil’s Lieuenant Colonel Jose Soler.

Soler spoke about the Guardia Civil’s ongoing commitment to tackle terrorism, particularly against the Basque nationalist ETA.

It comes after Guardia Civil officers paraded in the grounds of Madrid’s Royal Palace on Monday. Officers marched past King Felipe and Queen Letizia and government officials including Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Defence Minister Margarita Robles and Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

Guardia Civil general director Felix Azon said at the ceremony: “We are prepared for any new danger that threatens Spain and its people.”

The Guardia Civil was founded in 1844 by the Duke of Ahumada. It was set up as a national police force, replacing a network of Santa Hermandad (Holy Brotherhood) leagues which enforced the law beforehand.

Its early work saw it attempt to combat the banditry which plagued Spanish roads during the 19th Century.

About half of the force remained loyal to the Second Spanish Republic at the onset of the civil war in 1936.

It underwent reorganisation during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco before becoming the modern Guardia Civil with the adoption of Spain’s democratic constitution in 1979.

The modern force takes part in day to day police work as well as customs and border patrols, protection for the Spanish royal family and environmental law enforcement. Specialist officers also perform bomb disposal tasks, coast guard duties, anti-gang work and intelligence gathering.

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