Outrage as soldiers stationed in Barcelona raffle prostitute to raise funds
Army takes case to prosecutor after denigrating comments in non-official WhatsApp chat with 70 members
Some soldiers stationed in Barcelona's Bruc barracks have organized a raffle of a prostitute to raise funds for Christmas, as Catalan newspaper 'Ara' revealed on Wednesday.
The daily explains that in a non-official WhatsApp chat with 70 people, all members of the army, a sergeant and another official launched the raffle with the services of "a companion" as prize – they set it up in the chat and posters of it were hung in the barracks.
They had organized a dinner, and whoever paid €25 for it was automatically participating in it – those who did not want to attend the dinner but still wanted to take part in the raffle had to pay €3 per ticket, with a maximum of 52 tickets per person.
The news has sparked outcry among politicians in Catalonia and in the Spanish army.
Indeed, Barcelona's mayor, Ada Colau, said she was "outraged" at the revelations, asked for an investigation and made clear she is leading a "proudly feminist" city.
'We will set a price per day and whore'
'Ara' saw denigrating comments and photos of the prostitute, her services and rates and sexist comments.
"This does not cost €50," said one soldier.
"I want 50 more tickets [for the raffle], that day I fuck or fuck," said another one.
"For strange cases, refer to me personally and we will set a price per day and whore," said one of the organizers.
Some other soldiers complained about "encouraging prostitution in a military barracks," and decided to make it public.
They explain that those organizing the raffle are not a majority of them, but the others remain silent.
Revelations taken to public prosecutor
On Thursday, just a few hours after the raffle was revealed, the Spanish army took the news to the public prosecutor, despite saying they are not formally aware of the comments because they were not made in any "official chat."
Source of Spain's defense ministry said on Thursday that if the story were true, some soldiers would have gone against "the values of the institution," especially those including equality and respect for women.
"If it were true, which would come as a surprise to me, the culprit is whoever wrote it, it is nonsense written in a group of friends and can by no means be linked with the institution," said military sources quoted by 'Ara' in their article.