It was Baudelaire who wrote that the devil's greatest triumph was to make us believe that he does not exist. Shortly before, Goethe warned us of the unforeseen consequences of agreeing with him. And all this seems to be fulfilled before our suffering public opinion that is knowing, stunned, the bulky network formed on the cusp of BBVA with characters like Villarejo (whose services are hired ad hoc through their company CENYT) and Julio Corrochano (on staff as responsible for Security of the entity from 2002 to mid-last year, more than 15 years), presumably following guidelines emanated from above. Scandal that can mark a qualitative leap in the history of our corporate corruption. Leaving those others like Rumasa and Banesto small because of the sinister issue, the massive espionage practiced and the mistreatment with harassment of certain people. And that he realizes in what hands is part of our country, the tasting of several members of his leadership and how they spend them. Also of the fragility of our imperfect democracy before the consensual impunity of a Villarejo endowed with omnimous power.

Because the so-called BBVA case illustrates to us in its crudeness that everything is possible, both technologically and morally, between us. As it has already been up to the Financial Times , this would be shown by the more than 4,000 telephone devices intercepted with some 15,000 recorded conversations to politicians, businessmen and journalists, including certain executives of the bank itself. Files available to court that add 32 terabytes of encrypted sound documents. To get an idea of ​​its size, let's notice that a single terabite is enough to record 350 episodes of, for example, The Simpsons . Add to that a fleet of a dozen cars destined for tasks that are not exactly clean that would seriously violate people's fundamental rights.

So bleak are the things that can happen here when certain characters give themselves to be beyond good and evil. And when from the top of a transnational entity of more than 100,000 employees it seems that it is decided, without any known internal resistance (except perhaps one), to endorse the old axiom of the end that justifies the means and finds in profiles such as Corrochano and Villarejo, their last record ratio . A gross policy that would highlight the superstructure of good governance practices, code of conduct, mission and values, suitability, CSR, etc., which the entity showed internally and externally as good practices. Before whose futility it would be possible to evoke the verse of José Hierro: "After so much everything for nothing". And it is that only because of the lack of real internal counterweights against destructive absolutism at the head of it has the entity been able to reach the labyrinth in and with which it is found.

Among the reflections raised by the depth of the case, two first lessons arise: 1. The risks of incorporating profiles of the ESF and Intelligence Services to the Security Directorates or Corporate Intelligence Units (CI) of the companies and 2. The uncontrollable dialectic, by its very essence, of wiretapping.

1. The practice of the entity available to Justice would reveal the undoubted effectiveness (effective dismantling of a hostile purchase operation by Sacyr ), but also the dangers of incorporating ESF members - in this case of the Police - at the head of security. Corrochano, head of the Central Information Operations Unit in the Basque Country against ETA, where he controlled the information networks, was subsequently appointed general commissioner of the Judicial Police, on which all investigations under judicial control in Spain depended. This professional profile, in addition to an aura of uncritical admiration by its new financial colleagues, presupposes an extraordinary procedural and technological know-how on espionage and listening. And next to that, a connection with the so-called state sewers that, in a very imperfect political and legal system like ours, have a margin of free action especially uncontrolled. This teaches us three things: a) The formidable means and profiles that a corporation can count on to look for vulnerabilities, confidential information and extortion in its competitors, debtors and perceived threats. b) At the same time, the perpetual dependence that this diaboli cactus creates in the contracting party with a supplier such as the Villarejo company. That he might not have any qualms - following the logic of his core business, espionage - in having his client taken at the appropriate levels with internal listening that would allow future shielding, with the same tools and systems used for interception and external recording c) And, finally, there is the high threshold of psychic violence (already understood as a critical competence of the new position) that these recruited security profiles will be willing to apply to the new enemies marked by their client (in this case Sebastián, Rivero , Martín et alii). Precisely by virtue of his past performances and attitudes forged, for example, in the fight against terrorism.

2. On the other hand, the great German film The Life of Others (2006), by Florian Henckel, offered us a dissection full of pertinent teachings on the logic of listening and recording, through the practice of the old Statsi. It is a pity that they were ignored by the chain of responsible parties involved in the decision to sign the Corrochano-Villarejo tandem for such purposes. Because, as the film shows, the intercepted listener inexorably asks for her own nature more and more, like an unsatisfied goddess; that is, new listeners of new emitters that break into the initial conversations analyzed. Emitters that in turn become new unpublished attention focuses that are opened to the joyful ears of the listener. Therefore, once the agreement to execute x interceptions has been formalized, the inexorable dialectic of this type of listening would lead to the end of recording, say, the 15,000 conversations cited. Magnitude that makes it possible to think that even the bank would not knowingly know the extent of all interceptions or, therefore, the number of people and institutions affected.

The recourse by the entity to a forensic carried out by Price Waterhouse with 40 professionals assigned to said job , shows not only the maze of the eavesdropping, but, above all, the gnoseological confusion that must seize the entity before this tangle Kafkiana The discomfort of the ECB in the face of the delay of information and convincing explanations would indicate in part the impossibility of the bank itself to know what to do without remaining other than to declare before Frankfurt the famous sentence of St. Augustine: "I don't even know everything I am." So shameful and distressing can be the collapse that happens when you have let a being as solvent as Villarejo enter your organization.

In such a way that the final warning of the choir of the Faust of Marlowe would be fulfilled centuries after the expiration of the contract with Mephisto: "The darkness looms over you. You who were once, admired by all, encumbrated to the altars of the vainglory, you who rubbed shoulders with the kings and with the powerful of the earth (...), look at yourself now, become a shadow. " As remains of the wreck of a tragedy as fabulous as labyrinthine in the proscenium of Justice.


Ignacio García de Leániz Caprile is a professor of Human Resources at the University of Alcalá de Henares.

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