Retired personnel from different Spanish military bodies have drawn up a manifesto in which they call on the country's armed forces to "dismiss the prime minister and call new elections" in response to what they see as the "absence of justice, equality and democracy" in Spain. The manifesto, to which the Spanish Military Association (AME) has adhered, was made public this Friday, a day after Socialist (PSOE) leader Pedro Sánchez was again invested as PM, and justifies its call by citing Article 8.1 of the Spanish Constitution that states that the armed forces have the mission of "defending the constitutional order", which the former soldiers see as being in "serious danger due to the lack of judicial independence". According to El País, behind the signatories are former military personnel who were part of the controversial WhatsApp group La XIX del Aire, which in 2020 proposed a purge of half the population: shooting 26 million Spaniards. The Sumar representative Íñigo Errejón was one of the first to denounce the manifesto and asked for "forceful and exemplary measures" to be taken against those involved. "We can't let this go by, because every step seeks to prepare for and normalize the next one," said Errejón.
No se puede dejar pasar, porque cada paso busca preparar y normalizar el siguiente. Se deben adoptar medidas contundentes y ejemplares. Ya está bien de jugar al golpe. https://t.co/MvxFE48zeF— Íñigo Errejón (@ierrejon) November 17, 2023
In the text, the retired military personnel, who declare themselves "concerned about the future of Spain", denounce the "attacks on the rule of law through the Executive power's capture of most of the judicial bodies", which "nullifies the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers". Specifically, they cite the leadership of the Constitutional Court and the Public Prosecutor's Office as key grievances, before moving directly to denounce the pardons against the "leaders of the Coup d'état of October 2017" and then to the currently in process Amnesty Bill, with "no place in the current Spanish Constitution, which would eliminate equality before the law of all Spaniards and would erase the crimes committed by those who carried out the coup d'état in Catalonia in October 2017," and to "the possible rupture of the Unity of the Spanish Nation, one and indivisible", at the head of a long list of other grievances.
Military suspensions after threat to "shed blood"
This manifesto comes just four days after the director general of Spain's paramilitary Civil Guard, Leonardo Marcos, decreed the precautionary suspension for three months, without salary or work, for three officers after a "very serious offence" for publicly speaking out against the proposed amnesty law and the Spanish government. The three are a sergeant and an officer from the minority military association APROGC and another soldier from JUCIL, the largest association of Civil Guard members, who a week ago publicly declared themselves against the amnesty and criticized the Spanish government. In addition, the two APROGC members said that they were ready to "shed blood" to defend Spain.
Irritation in the barracks
In the same vein, at the beginning of November, in the face of the fear from some sectors that Pedro Sánchez would end up gathering the necessary support to become prime minister, which has happened, a collective under the name of Acción Civil ("Civil Action") decided to circulate a letter calling for a coup d'état around military barracks all over Spain. The letter, entitled 'Letter from the people to the armed forces and security forces', requested, on behalf of Spanish society, "a response from the Spanish Army, the Civil Guard and the National Police".