Citizens in Coripe, a tiny village in Andalusia, ‘executed’ an effigy of former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont on Sunday, as part of their Easter parade traditions.
Video footage showed a street party in Coripe with hundreds of people in attendance, and with an effigy of Puigdemont wearing a yellow ribbon (in solidarity with the jailed pro-independence leaders currently on trial) being paraded through the streets.
The effigy of Puigdemont was finally hung from a tree by a wall, set on fire, and then various men with rifles shot at the figure.
The Socialist mayor of Coripe, Antonio Pérez, argued that this is part of an annual Easter tradition called ‘The burning of Judas’, and called on the public not to ‘take it out of context’.
For him, this is ‘satire’ which is not ‘against the Catalan people’.
‘It is a celebration and a tradition like the Fallas [in Valencia],’ he said.
Every year, in ‘The burning of Judas’ tradition, a person that is considered to have done something ‘bad’ throughout the year, is burned and shot.
Yet Puigdemont said such event is ‘despicable’ and ‘inappropriate in any civilised society’.
‘It is a message of hatred, willing to generate hatred. This is an event where minors take part, they have attended this orgy of violence … as if it were normal.’
‘They did not want to shoot and burn me only: they wanted to mock the fight for the freedom of the jailed and exiled leaders,’ Puigdemont tweeted. He also criticised the Socialist party for allowing it.
The top candidate for the Socialists (PSOE) in the Barcelona constituency and Spanish minister, Meritxell Batet, condemned the event and ‘all the acts of intolerance made during this campaign’.
On Monday morning, the Socialist party’s seat had its façade painted with several words, such as: ‘Burning in Coripe, a disgrace,’ and ‘the Catalan Socialists remain silent’.
The current Catalan president, Quim Torra, called the events in Coripe ‘horrid and extremely repugnant’. His government has said it will file a lawsuit before Spain’s prosecutor.