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The head of Spain's Civil Guard in Catalonia, Pedro Garrido, has taken advantage of a letter he wrote on the 176th anniversary of the paramilitary security force, to boast about its contribution to the conviction of the nine Catalan political prisoners, while also expressing his pride at delivering to justice a group who, he claims, "planned to resort to terrorism to impose their independence delusions."

Civil Guard brigadier general Pedro Garrido sent this letter to commemorate the anniversary, celebrated on Wednesday, given the impossibility of holding a public event due to the coronavirus state of alarm.

"In Catalonia, in recent times, we have intervened in events of well-known significance to the security and territorial integrity of the nation [sic], and we have contributed to the fact that the perpetrators of crimes with which they sought the secession of Catalonia were convicted in court, and we have brought to justice those who planned to resort to terrorism to impose their pro-independence delusions,” he wrote. The last statement refers to a group of pro-independence CDR activists arrested in a high-profile 500-officer anti-terrorism operation in September last year, who were released from jail months later, when the only accusations against them that remained, related to possession of materials for making explosives, failed to stand up.

In addition, the head of the Civil Guard also emphasized that the body had continued to contribute to providing "more security and freedom" to citizens in Catalonia by doing its job, in areas such as combatting organized crime, jihadist terrorism and corruption.

According to Garrido, in the current coronavirus health crisis, the Civil Guard has also proven to be an element of "help and assistance" to citizens who have required it. "It is true that, on this occasion, we have not had the honour of facing this threat on the front lines, but it is also true that in this pandemic scenario that we have had to live through, carrying out daily activities that could be considered minor due to the small importance that is attributed to them, acquires special relevance and value", he asserted.

Garrido assures that the Civil Guard "will continue to work" for the security of all Spanish citizens, "with the greatest possible dedication to compliance with and enforcement of the law as the only reference", he speaks of how the paramilitary force acts "with the deepest respect for the rights and freedoms of citizens" and he concludes by celebrating both the Civil Guard's past - "a rich legacy of service to Spain" - and its present: "with our daily effort we are [building on that legacy] and making this body continue to be an essential element in the recent history of Spain."