The head of the Mossos d'Esquadra Catalan police, Josep Lluís Trapero, did not attend the meeting he had scheduled today with Spanish Interior ministry official Francisco Pérez de los Cobos. He sent his number three, Ferran López, in his stead.
López, on foot, was third to arrived, walking along carrer de Mallorca in Barcelona, unlike the commanders of the Civil Guard and the Spanish National Police, who came by car and drove into the interior courtyard of the Delegation of the Spanish government.
Also unlike the rest, López, did not stay for the whole meeting. He left after an hour, the other commanders continuing for another half hour.
The meeting, led by Pérez de los Cobos, the number three in the Spanish Interior ministry, was called to organise the security resources for the 1st October itself and everything deriving from the operations related to the referendum. Ferran López, however, presented a document that Trapero had sent to the Public Prosecutor complaining about Pérez de los Cobos being given superiority over him on Saturday. "The measure adopted affects the professionality and prestige of the Mossos d'Esquadra with respect to what has been and what is their dedication and commitment to the fulfilment of their functions of judicial police, public security and public order, competences which it carries out with the greatest possible rigour, respect and loyalty to the legal system and to those one whom it depends both organically and functionally"
Ferran López also said during the meeting that they urged for the Commission of Police Coordination of Catalonia to organise the efforts.
This comes two days after Trapero already told the Public Prosecutor that he didn't see a commander foreign to the Mossos coordinating the Catalan police. The Catalan Interior minister also made it clear that the Mossos wouldn't follow the orders of a commander imposed by the Spanish Interior ministry.
At 5:37pm, Ángel Gozalo, area commander and general of the Civil Guard.
Ten minutes before the 6pm start time for the meeting, Sebastian Trapote, Head Commissioner of the National Police entered.
And, at almost the same time, accompanied by the Mossos' press chief, Ferran López arrived on foot.
The Mossos' representative arrived to shouts of "independence", "long live Tweetie Pie" and "defend the country", from the people spontaneously gathered in front of the Delegation.
Last to arrive was the delegate of the Spanish government to Catalonia, Enric Millo.
Who is Ferran López?
The number 3 of the Mossos is one of the commissioners of the upper echelons of the Mossos with the greatest ability of dialogue.
In May, the Catalan Interior ministry reinforced the senior leadership of the Mossos after Josep Lluís Trapero was named its "major", or head.
Ferran López, had been second-in-command of the Mossos until May and had carried out the role of head of the superior commission of central coordination. He was relieved by Joan Carles Molinero, who until then had been head of the commission of the metropolitan police region of Barcelona.
López is now superior commissioner of territorial coordination (a role held by David Piqué until his death last year).
Ferran López and Joan Carles Molinero had been two of the names loudly suggested as possible heads of the force when CiU (Convergence and Union) returned to government under Artur Mas.
Ferran López is valued for his profile of being discrete, not strident, and his ability to reach agreements.