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Spanish left-wing politician Pablo Iglesias asserts that the information that has come to light on the fabrication of false evidence against the Podemos party is the gravest thing that has happened in Spain since the GAL death squads of the 1980s. For him, at this point, to become aware of what the so-called patriotic police have done and undone at their leisure since around the start of the year 2012 is enormously ingenuous. Of course the foundations of democracy are affected by everything done by the machinations of Spanish police commissioner Villarejo! And also by one or two other such schemes which, intelligently, were withdrawn before the explosion of the major scandals that now implicate journalists, businesspeople, financiers, political parties and the judiciary itself. Who was naive enough to think that after giving carte blanche to a political police unit that acted outside formal structures, it would only ever take action against the Catalan pro-independence parties and their leaders?

In the last two days, the leaking of recordings in which a police officer says that whether the evidence is good or bad doesn't matter, the only thing important is to be able to accuse Podemos of illegal party funding from Venezuela, allows us to understand how everything was done: in the same way as for many other recordings that sought to discredit, denigrate and slander the independence movement. The structures controlling the Spanish state's power bases were reinforced in order to downplay the fact that police action was being taken against Catalonia with total impunity. Fake stories about pro-independence leaders Xavier Trias and Artur Mas were published, it was implied that Oriol Junqueras was connected to a tax fraud issue through a brother. To mention just a few of the names that were tossed around, many of which received a lot of media coverage and then turned out to consist of nothing once the news effect had already been achieved. In the case of Trias, who is now announcing his retirement from politics, that campaign cost him the Barcelona mayoralty, while the candidate who ended up being his substitute proclaimed everywhere that she "wanted to kick the mafia out of our city".

Now, the party being persecuted is Podemos and its leader Pablo Iglesias and, regardless of the political views that everyone holds, all democratic forces should feel called on to denounce what is happening to this political group. The complicit silence which the independence movement encountered should not be replicated now that the boot is on the other foot. The discrediting of the institutions in Spain has reached high levels, as high as the monarchy itself. A CEO survey released on Friday in Barcelona says that only 12% of Catalans support it with 76% preferring a republic; and it is the least highly valued public institution.

But none of this seems to stir the establishment media, which still have little interest in talking about the patriotic police and the cesspit of the State. The point is, though, it's now too late.