Things need to be said loud and clear after so many years of mistreatment of the Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan police), and of insulting comparisons to other police forces and security corps by some politicians and media. The Mossos have shown in the last hours, in case there were any doubts, that they are not a "make-believe" police force, or unprofessional, politicized and with mediocre experience, even though for years they were portrayed in public opinion as a second-rate corps, because under "normal" circumstances security is a very serious thing and should be handled from Madrid. Those police who could not be seated, by demand of Spain's Interior Ministry, in any international official organisations, who were refused vital information to carry out their work because the information was sensitive material and that, of course, is only a privilege of the Spanish state. It was a total police anomaly; but it was a political decision.
With the terrorist alert at level four during recent times, the Security Council of Catalonia had been eight years without a meeting, despite the Catalan government's Department of Interior trying to convene one - up until some weeks ago, when president Puigdemont, in an act of strength, launched a serious ultimatum to the Spanish state: it would be convened, even if the Spanish government left its chairs empty at the meeting. And the Spanish government gave way, for the first time, and the Security Council meeting was held in Barcelona. It was a late but intelligent decision. What might Zoido (Spanish minister of Interior) say today? What collaboration with the Catalan Ministry of Interior might he speak of then, as the Spanish government has boasted about in the last hours?
The Mossos have achieved a doctorate during these last hours in something that they have already been for a long time: a very good police force. And, in passing, they have silenced many critics. For many, it has not been a surprise, but from now on their work will be more valued. Sometimes it is an ungrateful task, as it can't be any other way, always subject to criticism when not everything goes well. But this Friday on the streets Barcelona, anonymous citizens could be seen applauding Mossos agents in the vicinity of the Plaza Catalunya, in a completely unusual scene but one reflecting the citizens' identification with their police force, as well as their gratitude. In Cambrils, another of the black spots during the last hours, similar scenes occurred.
All this, in the middle of a police operation still on-going, and which we already know has an element of very relevant information, the participation of a cell in the attacks, formed by 12 members. An attack that has Barcelona as the epicentre, but the ramifications of which stretch to different points of Catalonia. From Alcanar to Cambrils, through Vic, Ripoll, Manlleu and Sant Just Desvern. An attack in which we still need to know if the intelligence between police forces flowed before it occurred, with the required loyalty between security forces. Something that the citizens hope is the case, as their security and protection must not have political colour, even if sometimes those that dedicate themselves to this profession strive to demonstrate the opposite. Out of pride, partisanship, or something simpler: indifference.