Second wave of Catalan pro-independence activists flee country

At least seven of 12 under investigation for terrorism in Tsunami Democràtic probe live abroad

Tsunami Democràtic protest in 2019
Tsunami Democràtic protest in 2019 / Elisenda Rosanas
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 11, 2024 01:54 PM

A second wave of Catalan pro-independence activists has recently fled the country due to their involvement in the ongoing investigation by Spain's National Court, which is pursuing terrorism charges against those who participated in the Tsunami Democràtic protest group.   

At least seven of the 12 under investigation currently live outside Catalonia. Four of them have recently moved to Switzerland, including Ruben Wagensberg, an MP for pro-independence party Esquerra; Oleguer Serra, an activist with the civil society organization Òmnium; Jesús Rodríguez, a journalist at La Directa; and Josep Campmajó, an entrepreneur. 

The other three have been living outside Catalonia for a while. Former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who has recently moved to Northern Catalonia after living in Belgium since 2017, Esquerra's secretary general Marta Rovira, who has resided in Switzerland since 2018 and computer technician Jaume Cabani. 

They all face the risk of being tried and convicted of terrorism for their alleged involvement with pro-independence protest group Tsunami Democràtic, which was especially active in 2019 when the organizers of the 2017 independence referendum were given prison sentences, sparking widespread protests in Catalonia. 

The other five activists under investigation who have not fled Catalonia are the head of Puigdemont's office, Josep Lluís Alay, entrepreneur Xavier Vendrell, Esquerra leader Marta Molina, entrepreneur Oriol Soler, and Swiss banker Nicola Flavio Giulio Foglia.

Tsunami Democràtic investigation

Judge Manuel García-Castellón is investigating the actions of Tsunami Democràtic, a Catalan pro-independence activist group responsible for organizing massive demonstrations after the Catalan pro-independence movement leaders were sent to prison in October 2019

The judge is seeking terrorism charges against the organizers, including former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, considering Tsunami Democràtic a "structured and hierarchical organization" with the aim of "subverting Spain's constitutional order and destabilizing the state economically and politically through massive social protests."