The following is the text of a letter sent by the Catalan government to the Spanish Minister of Defence, Margarita Robles, in the wake of a series of reports published in the online newspaper Público, concerning the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils in August 2017:
In August 2017, we suffered a series of attacks in Catalonia that shook our society, which has always been peaceful and harmonious.
The terrorist attack on the Ramblas, with the vehicle-ramming attack and subsequent escape, caused 15 deaths, and over 130 people of 34 different nationalities were injured. The attack in Cambrils – with one victim run down and killed and six injured – was cut short by a unit of the Mossos d'Esquadra, which prevented the terrorists from doing even more harm.
Those images of indiscriminate violence will stay in our minds forever. And for a long time, they continued to affect everyday activity in the public spaces in Cambrils and Barcelona where the attacks took place, as well as in Alcanar, Ripoll and throughout Catalonia.
Thanks to the outstanding police response – led by Major Josep Lluís Trapero, the head of the Mossos d'Esquadra at the time, and Minister Joaquim Forn, with the cooperation of the other police forces and agencies – it was possible to stop the terrorists and turn all the evidence gathered over to judicial authorities.
Almost two years later, we still do not have complete information concerning the motives and objectives of the attacks or the people behind them. In this context, the Parliament of Catalonia set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the terrorist attacks of 17 and 19 August 2017 (its work is ongoing), whereas the Congress of Deputies voted not to establish such a commission.
A series of press reports published over the last few days has generated significant public alarm and condemnation. These reports call into question the actions of some state institutions and contradict official information provided up to this point.
Yesterday (on Wednesday), the Spanish government representative in Catalonia, Teresa Cunillera, publicly stated that “the Spanish government will provide explanations”. Many institutional authorities, as well as the public, are also calling for and demanding explanations.
The Government of Catalonia, committed as always to the principle of maximum transparency and rigour in public explanations, requests that a meeting, in the format you deem appropriate, be arranged to provide information and appropriate explanations in order to resolve the situation that has been created and, as far as possible, put an end to the public alarm generated.
We also request that the Spanish government support the establishment of a commission of inquiry in the Congress of Deputies in order to bring to light the truth of what happened and, especially, to respond to the accusations made.
In addition, to ensure maximum transparency and clarify exactly what occurred, and particularly out of respect for the victims and their families, we request that the Spanish government instruct the representatives of relevant Spanish institutions to appear before the existing commission in the Parliament of Catalonia.
In a democracy, there is one inalienable right that all citizens have, and that is the right to the truth.
Thank you in advance for your attention. I look forward to your affirmative response.