The 17A victims believe that in the judgment by the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils (Tarragona) there will be doubts to be resolved, which will make it difficult for them to close wounds, according to the promoter of the Unit for Attention and Assessment of Victims of Terrorism (UAVAT), Robert Manrique.
In an interview with Efe, Manrique assures that the victims not only seek justice in the trial which is held at the National Court for the attacks of August 2017, but also that their doubts be resolved in order to close wounds, while asking that the treatment of the victims by the administrations does not focus “on money, but in the rights “.
For victims, the trial is a difficult time because it involves face the hardest episode again of their lives, for which Manrique is grateful that most of the media have not published the video broadcast in the National Court, and that until now it had not been disclosed, with the route of the van driven by Younes Abouyaaqoub attacking as many people as possible. as it passes through the Ramblas of Barcelona.
Manrique, one of the victims of the ETA attack on Hipercor in Barcelona in 1987, has since dedicated his life to supporting the victims: thirteen years as a delegate of the Association of Victims of Terrorism (AVT) in Catalonia, then at the head of the Catalan association ACVOT and since August 17, 2017 promoting the Unit for Attention and Assessment of Victims of Terrorism (UAVAT).
The UAVAT, where Manrique works as an advisor in a team of professionals and volunteers, has assisted 217 victims of 17-A, of which 73 have appeared in the trial of the National Court.
With the experience accumulated over the years, Manrique maintains that, before a trial such as that of 17-A, the victims, in order to close wounds, seek to obtain answers about questions that they plan in the case, among which he cites why An investigation commission was not created in Congress or the link between the CNI and the imam of Ripoll (Girona) Abdelbaki Es Satty, the brain of the cell that committed the attacks.
“Justice is done with a trial, but in the end what the victims want is that their doubts be resolved and, above all, that it does not happen again, “says Manrique.” In the end, the great importance of this trial is not listen to the victims and resolve their doubts“, laments Manrique, but” see if two of the three accused are convicted of terrorism. ”
Low representation of victims
The promoter of the UAVAT regrets that in the trial there is a “low” representation of the real number of victims of the attacks. “I understand that at the legal level the presence of victims who testify (in the trial sessions) is cut, what I do not understand is the number of people who have not been able to appear due to lack of information” in the judicial case, he says.
In this sense, Manrique considers that the “problem” lies in the administration, due to their lack of coordination and lack of advice towards those affected. He gives as an example that the people who were on August 17, 2017 in the Ramblas of Barcelona and in Cambrils, but were not injured, are not recognized as victims by the administration.
“How many face victims have stopped going to their places of work on the Ramblas because of this trauma and have ended up being fired? Of them, they are not discussed or will not be discussed in the trial due to lack of time,” he laments.
Even today, Manrique explains, three years after the attack, they continue to discover new victims, so their entity helps them to report it, although the administration only admits their documentation for processing if they present it the first year after the attack.
“There are still many regulatory things that must be modified and the administration does not want to sit down,” complains Manrique, who emphasizes that “terrorism is the only crime that does not go against a person but against the State, and the State is not giving face”.
According to Manrique, although the State has the responsibility to compensate the victimsIf the sentence were for damage and damage but not for terrorism, the amount to be received by those affected would be much lower. “Talking about terrorism is not talking about money but talking about rights”, he clarifies however.
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