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Barcelona pays tribute to the victims of the Hipercor attack

The 21 dead and 45 injured in the ETA car bomb attack were honored on the 30th anniversary of the massacre


20 June 2017 04:06 PM


On June 19, 1987, a car bomb exploded in an Hipercor discount department store in Barcelona leaving 21 dead and 45 injured. It was the most severe terrorist attack perpetrated in Catalonia’s recent history. On Monday, June 19, citizens, city and governmental officials honored the victims in a remembrance ceremony organized by ACVOT, a terrorist victims association group. Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau, and the Catalan president, Carles Puigdemont, publicly asked for forgiveness from victims’ families who may have felt that the institutions had not provided sufficient support and promised that they will be never forgotten. Carles Puigdemont added that sometimes the affected victims may have felt abandoned, or that the institutions had not replied to their needs, not only in terms of financial needs but also in terms of receiving attention, warmth, and sympathy. “We owe you a perpetual embrace, which does not expire,” Puigdemont said, also recognizing the difficult task of victims’ associations of making themselves heard and respected in today's society. Colau highlighted the city’s commitment to the memory of the victims. “The city will never forget you,” she promised during the memorial. The Spanish interior minister, Juan Ignacio Zoido, said that the defense of the terrorist victims has to be taken seriously and that it cannot be limited to one specific day like a remembrance day. He promised that the Spanish government will always be on the victims’ side.
  • “The city will never forget you”

    Ada Colau · mayor of Barcelona

At the beginning of the memorial ceremony, Puigdemont was heckled by some of the assistants because of his independence plans. During the short remarks by the authorities in respect to the victims’ families, francoist-era cries of “Arriba España” (Up with Spain) and “coup d’état” were also heard, among others. José Vargas, the president of ACVOT, the victims’ association, demanded silence from the participants, and reminded them that this was not a political event.

During his speech, Vargas pointed out that the quality of a democracy is also reflected in the treatment that victims receive. He pointed out that this was a day of commemoration as well as a reminder to never forget the horror and the cruelty caused by the murderers. He also manifested his disagreement with the fact that some of the supporters of the ETA group responsible for the attack are active today in democratic institutions.

Every year since its installation in 2003, flowers have been laid at the Victims memorial during a remembrance ceremony.

Additional officials who participated in the ceremony Monday were the Basque prime minister, Iñigo Urkullu, the minister of home affairs of the Catalan government, Jordi Jané, the delegate of the Spanish government in Catalonia, Enric Millo, the Spanish health and social services minister, Dolors Montserrat, and representatives of the victims of terrorism association and of different parliamentary and municipality groups. 


  • Catalan and Spanish officials at the memorial ceremony (Núria Julia)

  • Catalan and Spanish officials at the memorial ceremony (Núria Julia)