Tourism Minister receives letter with bloody knife

by Deborah Cater
The bloody knife sent to Spain's Tourism Minister

MADRID – Just days after politicians Pablo Iglesias and Fernando Grande-Marlaska and the head of the Guardia Civil received packages of bullets, Tourism Minister Maroto receives a letter with a bloody knife.

The National Police identified and located the sender of the letter and bloody knife. The rapid response was due to the sender writing his name and address on the envelope. He is a resident of El Escorial north of Madrid. The suspect is said to be schizophrenic. In the past he had already shown an obsession with the minister, sources at the ministry report.

Not related to previous incidents

Based on preliminary investigations by the police, there is no connection between this incident and last week’s threatening letters. Then, Fernando Grande-Marlaska of the Interior, Pablo Iglesias, Unidas Podemos leader and María Gámez, head of the Guardia Civil received a threatening letter with bullets.

Maroto could be Madrid’s next Deputy Prime Minister should PSOE candidate Angel Gabilondo win the upcoming May 4th regional elections.

The election campaign is fierce, with tensions and clashes between the competing parties running high. The election’s main competitors are socialist PSOE, conservative Partido Popular (PP), left-wing Unidas Podemos, center-right Ciudadanos and far-right Vox.

On Friday, an election debate at radio station Cadena SER was cut short after Iglesias refused to participate due to accusations from Vox candidate Rocío Monasterio. She said the threatening letter Iglesias received was not real. She then continued to verbally attack and interrupt others, including the presenter, during the debate.

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Sources at the ministry and Unidas Podemos reported earlier in the day that security measures had been stepped up for the three public figures threatened last week.

“Freedom Will Triumph”

Maroto wrote on Twitter on Monday that “threats and violence will never silence the voice of democracy. Freedom will prevail. Thank you for all your expressions of support on a day that reinforces my will to work for a better future.”

Leading figures from other political parties also made statements. Pablo Iglesias, who until recently served in the PSOE-Unidas Podemos coalition government as Deputy Prime Minister, wrote on Twitter today: “All our solidarity with Reyes Maroto. We’ve had enough fascist threats.”

“Reyes is not alone,” added PSOE candidate Gabilondo. “We stand behind her. We also feel threatened in our hearts, in our beliefs, in our values, in our lives. They want to intimidate us, ”he continued.

The regional prime minister of Madrid, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, of the PP, said “threats against government officials make no sense in a free country.” And Mónica García, a regional candidate with the left-wing Más Madrid, tried to link the Madrid-ruling Partido Popular with the ultra-nationalist Vox, wondering “How many more threats are needed before Ayuso stops supporting the extreme right’s hate speech?”

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