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The dismissal of the then-director of Spain's Civil Guard, Félix Azón, in January of this year, was justified at the time in terms of remodeling the leadership of the paramilitary force, but according to Spanish digital newspaper El Confidencial, the real cause was that the director concealed information relating to last autumn's controversial operation against pro-independence CDR activists, which involved a high-profile anti-terrorist operation against nine people, who were eventually granted bail months later with charges reduced to an accusation that they intended to produce explosives.

According to the Spanish newspaper, interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska dismissed Azón in January because the Civil Guard had hidden the details of the operation that took place on September 23rd, 2019, which caught prime minister Pedro Sánchez on the back foot, when he was asked about the arrests at the New York climate summit and was completely unaware of them.

According to sources familiar with the episode quoted by El Confidencial, Sánchez called Marlaska to complain that he had not been warned of the operation. In turn, the minister, who had been advised of the operation but did not know details - such as that the Civil Guard alleged that the CDR activists had the ability to manufacture explosives - reproached Azón for the lack of information.

The dismissal of Azón, then, is in the same mould as the sacking of colonel Pérez de los Cobos, with both cases apparently demonstrating a reluctance by the Civil Guard to share information with the current Spanish government.

More than 500 members of the Civil Guard took part in the so-called Operation Judas in which nine Catalan pro-independence activists were arrested, in an action that captured Spanish media attention just days before the Spanish Supreme Court was expected to deliver its verdict against the leaders accused of rebellion and sedition in relation to the 2017 independence referendum.