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This Wednesday it will have been five years since the August 2017 attacks on the Rambla in Barcelona and in the town of Cambrils, in which 22 people died, five of them terrorists. A period of five years without one single moment when it seemed to the public that everything that happened in that case was being thoroughly investigated. On the contrary, there has been a special interest on the part of the Spanish state in withholding information, in rejecting any investigation into the imam of Ripoll and in not carrying out a thorough parliamentary investigation. All of this has cast doubt on the trial at the National Audience court and prevented full closure for the victims' relatives, who have tried unsuccessfully to get a little closer to the truth.

The statements made a few months ago by the former Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo affirming that Spain's National Intelligence Centre (CNI) was behind the attacks should have been the motive for the Spanish state to react and stop being on the defensive. That did not happen. On the contrary, any investigation was ruled out. The truth is that as time has passed since August 17th, 2017, the official version, far from being confirmed, has been increasingly questioned.

The Catalan interior minister at the time, Joaquim Forn, who played a prominent and much-praised role in that period alongside the Mossos d'Esquadra police, has in recent months criticised the Spanish state for hiding information, asserting that there are still aspects that are not known and have not been explained. The darkest thread in all this is the role of the imam of Ripoll, Abdelbaki Es Satty, an informant for the CNI who was presumed to have died in the explosion the night before the attacks, in the town of Alcanar, but it is questioned whether the DNA tests practiced by Moroccan forensics met the required scientific and legal standards.

This Wednesday, at the memorial at the Pla de l'Os, on the Rambla where the attack took place, an institutional tribute will be held to remember the victims and will be attended by representatives of all political groups. There will also be participation of the victims - of the more than 150 people who were injured - and their relatives. It is a necessary tribute, especially at a time when it is also put in doubt that they had the support they needed at those times when the People's Party government under Mariano Rajoy was more interested in discrediting the role of the Mossos than in standing with the victims, with Catalonia and with the city of Barcelona in its grief over the tragedy.

But the tribute will not even remotely serve as palliative for the responses that have not yet been given and that one day will necessarily come out. It will be too late, of course. But that's what it's all about when you get official licence to hide the truth, as provided by the new law on Official Secrets that shields the Spanish state for 50 years and another ten years of possible extension before they have to declassify official documents. In the United States this period is 20 years and in countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Portugal or Italy it is half of what is being implemented in Spain. Under Spanish law any information in relation to the attacks would stay classified until August 2067.

How is anyone supposed to trust the official version in the meantime?