Roberto Manrique, victim of the attack of Hipercor: "I would not shake hands with Caride Simón because that hand has caused a lot of pain"
Roberto Manrique received the call last Saturday. They warned him that the next day, Sunday, former terrorist Rafael Caride Simón, who since 2017 already only spent the night in pr
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Roberto Manrique received the call last Saturday. They warned him that the next day, Sunday, the former terrorist Rafael Caride Simón , who since 2017 had already only spent the night in prison, would definitely be free. "What did I think? The same as when Troitiño , Ernaga and Santi Potros [the rest of the members of the Barcelona command] left: what the law says. When one benefits the law defends it, so when unfortunately you don't like, but it is what it is, you just have to abide by it. "
Roberto Manrique worked as a butcher at the Hipercor in Barcelona on June 19, 1987 when the aforementioned Antonio Troitiño, Josefa Ernaga, Santi Potros and Caride Simón blew up a bomb in the basement of the hypermarket that killed 21 people and left wounds to 45 -Roberto among them- in which he has gone down in history as the deadliest attack on ETA.
For years Manrique was the voice of the victims of Hipercor, whom he represented from the Presidency of the AVT in Catalonia , and is also the person Caride Simón chose to hold one of the "restorative meetings" between ETAs and victims who The Interior Ministry sponsored after in October 2011 ETA announced the final cessation of its armed activity. His was held on June 15, 2012 in the Alava prison of Zaballa .
-Have you forgiven Caride Simon?
-I accept your regret. He has never asked me for forgiveness. In the interview I had with him he told me that he did not believe in the Catholic concept of forgiveness and I replied that I had not gone there to talk about religious philosophy either. He said: "What I am is deeply regretful of the pain I caused, is that worth it?" "Yes, if he regrets what he did to me it is worth it," I replied.
Manrique asked him a question that had been formulated for years - "what does a Galician do in ETA?" - and others from more victims - "how was his life after?", "How did he not realize that Hipercor did not it was a French company as they thought ...? "- and listened to it for two hours, but refused to shake hands. "I didn't shake hands with this guy because those hands had caused so much pain. I couldn't say hello, 'hello, how are you?', And the next day give that same hand to someone orphaned because of him. And for the same I wouldn't give it to him today, because that hand has done a lot of damage. Even if he has regretted, he doesn't have 24 dead on his back, "he says, adding three other fatalities at 21 Hipercor, an attack on which he was convicted in 2003 to 790 years in prison.
"At least he has repented"
Arrested in 1993 in France , Caride Simón, 74, has spent 26 years in jail, the last 19 in Spain. "He has been practically one year dead; he is pathetic, but that is what the law says. From the second fatality he goes free, according to the legislation," laments Manrique, who is now an advisor to the Care Unit and Assessment of Those Affected by Terrorism ( Uavat ) located in Barcelona. Before the telephone talk with EL MUNDO he has treated a wound from the La Rambla attacks: "The first person hit, who was a Muslim lady," he says, pointing out the nonsense of terrorism.
That Caride Simón is on the street does not like it but appreciates the step he took: "At least he has repented and made it public. It is not a consolation, but at least one of the four has realized the damage he caused For me it is worse than four years ago I had to meet at the National Court with Troitiño , Ernaga and Santi Potros . Behind me, on the sidewalk, there was a small group of people speaking Basque and we were tight and I turn to ask to be cast a meter behind and it was Troitiño . Having to meet the murderers who wanted to kill you and never regretted ... "
Caride Simon did. The so-called Via Nanclares , the program for the reinsertion of the repentant ETAs, was accepted and was expelled from the ETA prisoner group. Upon leaving prison, he has not received any of the tributes that his three comrades in the Barcelona command did: Troitiño , Ernaga and Santi Potros .
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