LAW enforcement unions took their claims of Government inaction over the issue of officer suicides onto the streets of Madrid on Wednesday.
JUSAPOL, bringing together National Police union JUPOL and Guardia Civil union JUCIL, staged a protest under the slogan ‘We are the victims: Protocol Anti-Suicide Now’ at 12 midday in front of the Congress of Deputies.
To get their message firmly across they set out symbolic coffins in the street draped with the Spanish flag.
The protesters vented their anger over Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s words of sympathy for the recent suicide of ETA prisoner Igor Gonzalez, arguing he has “never” expressed the same concern over the same problem within the law enforcement services.
“We are here to claim a suicide prevention protocol for our colleagues,” one speaker said.
“We believe that it was crossing a red line offering condolences for the death of an ETA member.”
He said there had been 10 suicides in the forces this year and said Sanchez had failed to utter any words of condolence for them.
“He is lamenting the death of a person who snatched away the lives of our colleagues and who belonged to one of the terrorist group’s bloodiest cells. They were the assassins, us the victims,” he added.
JUSAPOL President Miguel Angel Gomez described National Police and Guarida Civil officers as the “real guarantors” of all Spaniards’ rights and freedoms and of the Constitution and the rule of law.
“They do not deserve political leaders turning their back on them, putting their political interests before the rights of all citizens,” he commented.
According to the unions they have the support of members of different political parties, associations of victims of terrorism and of family members of people who were assassinated by ETA.
The protest organisers have promised further similar protest action every few weeks for the coming months.
Today’s protest ended with a minute’s silence for all the Guardia Civil and National Police officers assassinated by ETA before the participants quite literally turned their backs on the entrance to the Congress.
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