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This Thursday, on the sixth anniversary of the terror attacks that convulsed Catalonia on August 17th, 2017, when jihadist attackers struck on Barcelona's Rambla and in the Catalan town of Cambrils, the football coach Pep Guardiola has spoken out with a demand to know what really happened. "We want to know the truth", the Catalan coach expressed in a tweet this Thursday, coinciding with the commemoration of the terrible day in Barcelona, marked by six minutes of silence maintained by the victims as protest against their abandonment. Guardiola showed his concern about the lack of resolution of the issue with a harsh message to the authorities: "How long do we have to wait to know for sure what happened on 17th August? Spanish state and [Catalan] Generalitat, this is what you are here for". "Shame. That's what I feel," the Manchester City coach scolded. Finally, he sent some words of support to the victims and their families: "Not a day goes by that I don't think of you."

It was this Thursday when the city commemorated the sixth anniversary of the attacks, with an act of remembrance and tribute to the victims in the memorial that was installed in the Pla de l'Os, halfway down the Rambla. Six minutes of silence were maintained to protest the six years of "abandonment". Victims, relatives and institutional representatives took part, including the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès; the speaker of Parliament, Anna Erra; and the mayor of Barcelona, Jaume Collboni.

homenatge 17A 2023 rambla barcelona familiars víctimes foto carlos baglietto
Commemoration of the 17-A terror attack in Barcelona's Rambla / Photo: Carlos Baglietto

A commission of inquiry for August 17th 

The tribute lasted about fifteen minutes, with no speeches: it consisted of a silence accompanied by the traditional hymn Cant dels Ocells, as well as a floral offering with the victims and their relatives in the focus. They were the first to lay white carnations at the Pla de l'Os, where the van came to a halt on August 17th, 2017 after the terrible vehicle attack on Barcelona's pedestrian avenue. Once the offering had ended, the victims stood at the memorial and observed the six minutes of silence as a sign of protest and denunciation. In statements to journalists, the former adviser of the Unit of Attention and Assessment of Victims of Terrorism (UAVAT), Robert Manrique, criticized the lack of attention from the Spanish interior ministry. "They have already said, both actively and passively, that until the sentence is final, they have no reason to contact or assist the victims. This is nonsense, a disaster."

In relation to this, it should be borne in mind that, this Thursday, the Together for Catalonia (Junts) party and the Spanish Socialists (PSOE) have agreed, as part of their political accord in Madrid, to create a commission to investigate the attacks of 17th August. There has never been a full inquiry into the attack in which 16 innocent people were killed and hundreds were physically and psychologically injured. The full role of the imam from the town of Ripoll, the terror mastermind, who had known connections to Spanish intelligence services, has never been clarified. Regarding the proposed commission, Manrique stated that it is "one of the demands that has always been requested from the UAVAT and from the victims". "Spain is the only country where there have been jihadist attacks and there was no commission of inquiry. It is not a question of shifting the blame, it is a question of studying what went wrong so that it does not happen again," he added.