The secret group of policemen dedicated to extrajudicially fighting the sovereign process in Catalonia during the first government of Mariano Rajoy perceived Podemos as a new enemy to beat as soon as the formation of Pablo Iglesias achieved its first electoral success, in May 2014. This is how it is. The newspaper seized from one of its members, Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, who, just four months after those European elections, is already holding meetings with journalists to provide them with information about the party, nine months after its creation. It is not a private initiative. On October 30, 2014, Villarejo spoke with the then number two of the Ministry of the Interior, Francisco Martínez, and notes: “We can meetings.”
Villarejo scored the maneuvers with a senior judge of Madrid to save Esperanza Aguirre from the bench
On January 17, 2014, Podemos was unveiled in an act at the Teatro del Barrio, in the Lavapiés neighborhood of Madrid. Just four months later, in May, European elections were held and the new party won more than 1.2 million votes and five MPs in Strasbourg. On September 29, two journalists from The world They propose to Villarejo to meet the next day. “We can issue”, the commissioner notes in agendas to which Internal Affairs, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and the judge in the case give credibility when they come across facts that are public or already accredited by the investigation.
A month later, on October 31, 2014, Villarejo notes a meeting with the Secretary of State for Security: “Chisco. Meeting until 2:30 pm. About IB risk with PJ and Podemos and Verstrynge meetings.” Chisco It is one of the names with which Villarejo and his group refer to the number two of Interior. In other annotations it appears that Villarejo tries to obtain information about the game and that, for some reason, he includes Jorge Verstrynge in that plan. The environment of the former professor of Iglesias ensures that he has never seen Villarejo.
In that autumn of 2014, Podemos had shaken the political board, taking the 15M as its flag and responding to those who challenged the citizen movement to form a formation if it wanted to be a valid actor of their demands. To the strong response of some political rivals and the media, we must add an underground way of sabotage to Podemos with episodes that still surface seven years later, such as the attempt of the PP in Madrid to cut the growth of the purple party in one of its fields. more conducive, the Internet and social networks. Today’s president of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, tried to register Podemos Madrid and Ganemos Madrid by order of her predecessor in office Ignacio González, as revealed this week by elDiario.es.
The path of the political brigade featured, for its part, a protagonist who regularly emerges on the most unknown side of the Popular Party. This is the lawyer Javier Iglesias, El Largo, whom Villarejo and his collaborators have as one of their communication threads with the then President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, according to the recordings incorporated into the summary and the annotations in the agenda.
Javier Iglesias is the lawyer who went to prison to offer a pact to Luis Bárcenas on behalf of the Government and the PP so that he would not pull the blanket of irregular financing of the party, according to the former treasurer. On November 11, 2014, Villarejo notes: “Igles Jav. He wants to know news about LB. I already told him the latest data and that no one controls Verstringe or Podemos.”
Already in 2015, accusations against Podemos that over time would become recurring begin to surface in the commissioner’s diary. On February 10, 2015, Villarejo notes a conversation with number two of the Interior: “Chisco. Venezuela-Podemos. Several steps. We agreed to talk.”
There is still a year to go before the greatest evidence of the dirty war against Podemos by that Ministry of the Interior, the PISA report (Pablo Iglesias Sociedad Anónima), which without signature or seal, tried to demonstrate the irregular financing of the party from Venezuela and Iran and whose content they despised, first the National Court, and then the Supreme Court. Before, its content had been published by various media, coinciding with the start of the talks between Podemos and the PSOE for the formation of the Government in January 2016.
The following April, another member of the political brigade, Chief Inspector José Ángel Fuentes Gago, met with a former Hugo Chávez minister in New York and offered help to him and his family in exchange for alleged evidence about Podemos’ ties with Caracas. Fuentes Gago tells Rafael Isea that he comes with “a mandate” from the Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, according to the recording of the meeting published by moncloa.com. The police report resulting from that encounter would never reach a court but would be published by ABC.
From Operation Catalunya to the PISA report
The Ministry of the Interior led by Jorge Fernández Díaz reissued with Podemos the police maneuvers that it had maintained for the previous two years against the sovereign process in Catalonia. As revealed elDiario.es In November 2014, a secret group of police officers was engaged in prospectively tracking down possible corruption of sovereign politicians without judicial control, probably financed by reserved funds from the Interior.
The result of their investigations were apocryphal reports, without attribution to a police unit, nor signed by officials, which ended up on the front pages of certain media, coinciding with high points of the sovereign process. The investigation of the Villarejo case has credited the commissioner’s participation in those maneuvers together with other members of that group of police commanders. According to Villarejo himself, the same policemen who dedicated themselves, without competences, to counteract the independence boom in Catalonia tried to undermine Podemos later on the margin of justice.
However, the only judicial accusation against them occurs within the framework of a third vector of action: the illegal espionage of Luis Bárcenas. The fight against the democratic opposition, either in Catalonia or at the state level with Podemos, joined the maneuvers to favor the party in the Government, the PP, trying to sabotage the most serious case of corruption that still plagues the party today, that of its irregular financing or cash B.
Villarejo, Fuentes Gago or one of the suspects of participating in the writing of the PISA report against Podemos, the current commissioner of Villa de Vallecas, Andrés Gómez Gordo, as well as the Minister of the Interior Fernández or his number two, Francisco Martínez, are accused in room 7 of the Villarejo case, also known as Kitchen. Despite the evidence gathered during the Villarejo case investigation, the National Court has not yet investigated the dirty war of Operation Catalunya or the one that the same protagonists later reproduced against Podemos.