An action typical of the government of a dictatorship like that of Venezuela

Pérez de los Cobos case: a scandal that points to the highest level of the Spanish government

This week, the Supreme Court of Spain has handed down a ruling in favor of Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos against his illegal dismissal.

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The dismissal of a colonel who was investigating two cases related to the government

This case dates back to May 2020, when the Minister of the Interior of Spain, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, dismissed Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, head of the Madrid Civil Guard command, alleging "loss of confidence". Pérez de los Cobos was then investigating two legal cases that implicated the government:

  • The first involved the government delegate in Madrid, the socialist José Manuel Franco, from the feminist demonstrations on March 8 of that year despite the high risk of contagion due to the pandemic.
  • The second was the management of the pandemic by Fernando Simón, director of the Health Alerts and Emergencies Coordination Center of the Ministry of Health, for his management of the pandemic.

The "loss of confidence" alleged by the government had to do with the colonel's refusal to provide the minister with the reports that had been prosecuted and declared secret on these two cases. If that Civil Guard command had delivered that report to the minister, he would have incurred criminal responsibilities, since the colonel was acting as a Judicial Police and the magistrate had given an order that only she be informed. Finally, after the dismissal of Pérez de los Cobos, the report was illegally leaked to a pro-government media, and other government-affiliated media dedicated themselves to trying to discredit it.

Criticism from the political opposition, judges and prosecutors

The management of the pandemic by Pedro Sánchez's cabinet was receiving an avalanche of criticism, after learning that the government ignored the WHO five times in February, after that body declared an international emergency over the pandemic on January 30. Everything indicates that the government wanted to avoid having to face criminal responsibilities for this action, and it had no qualms about breaking the law by ordering that Civil Guard coronal to commit an illegality by delivering that report to the minister.

The dismissal of the Colonel generated harsh criticism from the parliamentary opposition, from judicial associations and also from the Association of Prosecutors. In addition, the government's decision caused deep discomfort in the Civil Guard. The day after the colonel's dismissal, the Deputy Director of Operations (DAO) of the Benemérita, Lieutenant General Laurentino Ceña, presented his resignation in solidarity with Pérez de los Cobos. Likewise, there was demonstrations in support of the Civil Guard in various cities in Spain, attended by citizens outraged by the abuse of power committed by the government.

The minister lied in Congress and in the Senate

Given the scandal that arose and its possible criminal effects, the minister denied that the dismissal of the colonel had anything to do with that report, a denial expressed by both in Congress< /a> and as in the Senate.

The colonel took his case to court, and on March 31, 2021, the National Court published a sentence that agreed with Pérez de los Cobos. The judicial decision indicated that the dismissal occurred "for not reporting on the development of investigations and actions of the Civil Guard in the operational framework and of the Judicial Police", something expressed in writing in a resolution of the Secretary of State for Security on May 24, 2020. Likewise, the National Court described the reason for the dismissal as "non-existent, insufficient, inconsistent, inaccurate, incomplete and arbitrary" and a "deviation of power" by the government.

That ruling clearly demonstrated that Marlaska had not only illegally ordered the dismissal of that colonel, but also that the minister had lied in parliament about the reason for the colonel's dismissal. These are two very serious events in a democratic country and should be followed by the dismissal of the minister. The parliamentary opposition called for Marlaska's resignation, but the minister refused to resign and, in a exhibition of cynicism, the government declared itself the victim of a "conspiracy", an increasingly common strategy to avoid any criticism of its scandals and mismanagement.

The Supreme Court agrees with the colonel

Finally, this Tuesday, March 28, the Supreme Court sided with the colonel of the Civil Guard, dismissing the appeal filed by the State Attorney's Office and annulling the dismissal of Pérez de los Cobos. The ruling can be read here (view PDF). In it (page 18) it is reiterated that the reason for the dismissal of the colonel was his refusal to provide the minister with a report subject to judicial secrecy. Thus, this ruling confirms that not only was something illegal demanded of the colonel, but also that the minister lied when he denied that he had been required to do so.

The minister does not resign and defames the colonel

After these serious events indicated by the Supreme Court, it is unheard of that Marlaska has not yet been resigned or dismissed as a minister. Not only that, but also, one day after that sentence was known, Marlaska changed her version and launched into defaming Pérez de los Cobos, suggesting that he was dedicated to destroying evidence in a court case related to the Popular Party. A serious accusation that the minister launched without evidence and which he has retracted after appearing in some media that Pérez de los Cobos was considering suing the minister.

What happened with this scandal not only exposes a serious abuse of power, but also a perverse habit of the coalition government made up of socialists and communists, which for several years has launched harsh attacks against judicial independence. It is intolerable that a minister accused of illegally dismissing a Civil Guard commander should remain in office, a dismissal that occurred because that commander refused to commit a crime. It is also intolerable that Marlaska has not yet restored Pérez de los Cobos to his post, after publishing a final sentence that proves him right, and that instead he launches to slander a colonel who has been tried to infamous by the government and its related media for simply abiding by the law and doing their duty.

An action typical of a government like that of Venezuela

The actions of the Minister of the Interior are typical of a dictatorship like Venezuela. But Marlaska is not the only one responsible for this scandal. If the minister continues in his position, it is because Pedro Sánchez has decided so, which suggests that the ultimate responsibility for this scandal is the president of the government himself. It is unthinkable that the Minister of the Interior would have acted as he did without Sánchez's knowledge and consent, because if that had not been the case, what has come to light would already have led to the dismissal of Marlaska.

Thus, this case is not only about an arrogant and abusive minister, but about an autocratic government, which does not respect the rule of law and believes that its wishes and will are above legality . Sánchez is yet another example of the toxic mentality of a socialist party, the PSOE, which believes that anything goes to stay in power and that anyone who stands in its way must be removed and ousted, twisting the law or simply trampling it. Sánchez and his party are a danger to democracy in Spain , and the Pérez de los Cobos case is one more example of this.


Photo: Efe. Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Minister of the Interior, with Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government, in the Congress of Deputies.

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