The repugnant image of local police in the village of Coripe in the province of Seville carrying the weapons to shoot a life-size effigy of the Catalan president in exile, Carles Puigdemont, which went viral this Sunday, is not an anecdote, nor a joke, nor something minor. It's the hatred in its purest form of those who, on the back of article 155 of the Constitution, launched a fight against the independence movement and who brazenly engaged in repression unprecedented in a democratic country to crush the wishes of the people of Catalonia for sovereignty.
Puigdemont embodies, as the then Catalan president, that peaceful rebellion by the people of Catalonia and it's obvious that his exile and the legal defeats he's submitted the Spanish state to have got on the deep state's nerves and that he remains the main big game hunting target. The effigy imitating him appears with an estelada flag from its shoulders to its feet and also wears a giant yellow ribbon. All of this is burnt and shot amid the revelry and ruckus of the inhabitants of Coripe, a village governed by PSOE with an absolute majority. Yes, Pedro Sánchez's PSOE, which has so far had nothing to say about the simulated shooting, like its Catalan affiliate PSC, which hasn't said anything about the mayor from its political family either.
Such hatred isn't normal, nor natural. It shouldn't be attributed only to PP, Cs or Vox. Coripe is an example with its PSOE majority. It's to be hoped that the public prosecution service, which acts so quickly against pro-independence politicians, might have something to say. Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, the famous spokesperson of José María Aznar's government, said contemptuously in 2014, referring to another Catalan president, then Artur Mas: "He wants to be someone's victim. What he needs is to be shot. He wants to be arrested". He got away with it.
Nothing is as easy in Spain as insulting independence supporters.