New information has emerged about the so-called ‘Operation Catalonia’. The Público newspaper today reveals that interior minister Jorge Fernández Díaz was already working on a political and police operation against Catalonia. In 2012, he commissioned a report on Jordi Pujol that was published in El Mundo newspaper, supposedly drawn up by the Fiscal and Economic Crime Unit (UDEF, in Spanish) of the police, which uncovered the offensive Fernández Díaz launched against the Catalan sovereignty movement and that four years later has become known as Operation Catalonia.
In 2012, the minister ordered the former number two in the police, commissioner Eugenio Pino, to set up a ‘political brigade’ made up of completely trustworthy people to carry out all types of illegal police operations and set-ups to attempt to bring proceedings against the political heads of the CiU and ERC parties. Those chosen were the head of Pino’s cabinet, José Ángel Fuentes Gago, and the commissioners Marcelino Martin-Blas (head of Internal Affairs), José Luis Olivera (head of the UDEF), Enrique García Castaño (from Information) and José Manuel Villarejo, the only self-proclaimed member of the intelligence unit not officially of the police.
Pino, along with Villarejo, Olivera and Martín Blas know Catalonia well, as they had served in Barcelona during the 1980s and 90s and had good contacts there, apart from having the trust of Fernández Díaz, who was secretary of the Catalan PP party and civil governor in the Catalan capital. Martín-Blas and Olivera went to talk to Catalan prosecutors to encourage them to open corruption proceedings against the families of Pujol and Artur Mas. Meanwhile, Villarejo deployed his network and false identities, some of which were even unknown to the director general of the police, to obtain sources to draw up reports that could smear these politicians.