The Spanish Army Had a Plan to Intervene in Catalonia in the Aftermath of the 2017 Independence Referendum

Earlier this week, Fernando Alejandre, a general of Spain’s army, revealed that the army had a plan to intervene in Catalonia in the aftermath of the 2017 independence referendum.

In an interview with the newspaper ABC, Alejandre affirmed that the former Minister of Defense, María Dolores Cospedal, ordered him to prepare a plan to intervene in Catalonia in case independence was implemented. According to the former general, the plan was not activated because the declaration of independence lasted for only “12” seconds before its suspension.  

“The plan was aimed at supporting Spanish police forces, which included diverse actions, from logistical support to the protection of sensitive facilities and infrastructure,” said the former general.  According to him, this plan “was going to be a good starting point.” On this basis, “this would be an operation that could be adjusted in each comment, depending on how the situation evolved.”

The former general also affirmed that the Army “had fairly reliable information on the situation, including the capabilities of the Committees for the Defense of the Republic (CDR), and the situation of the Catalan police (Mossos d’Esquadra).”

Alejandre also added that Cospedal was “concerned that there was not the slightest leak of what we were going to do” but that “she agreed that we should be prepared.” According to him, the then minister asked him to “keep the circle even closer, so that I could write a draft of the directive myself. The military did so and she signed it a couple of days later.” 

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