Fez - The Canary Association of Victims of Terrorism (ACAVITE), intends to sue the Polisario Front for committing “crimes against humanity”, according to Spain’s ‘’El Confidencial’’ newspaper. ACAVITE claims that 300 people, mostly businessmen and fishermen, were assassinated and 50 others were injured, tortured, or kidnapped by Polisario’s militia between 1970 and 1980.
Fez – The Canary Association of Victims of Terrorism (ACAVITE), intends to sue the Polisario Front for committing “crimes against humanity”, according to Spain’s ‘’El Confidencial’’ newspaper.
ACAVITE claims that 300 people, mostly businessmen and fishermen, were assassinated and 50 others were injured, tortured, or kidnapped by Polisario’s militia between 1970 and 1980.
The Spanish Interior Ministry has acknowledged the existence of 130 cases of victims of the Polisario, which, under the 29/2011 Law, grants them the same status as victims of terrorism.
According to the same source, this acknowledgment from the ministry was described as “satisfactory” by Lucia Jiménez, President of ACAVITE.
Nevertheless, Jiménez claimed to be disappointed that none of the murders have been resolved by the Spanish courts, and the perpetrators enjoy impunity.
The Canary Islands have not yet recognized the sad story of these victims, and “remains the only Spanish autonomous community that does not respect, honor, or value the bloodshed of the islanders,” ACAVITE’s President said last November.
Jiménez, whose father was injured in one of the Polisario attacks 40 years ago, wants to compensate the victims’ families and prosecute the perpetrators, the same source noted.
“The Polisario Front and the Canary Islands Independence Movement -MPAIAC- in the seventies and eighties attacked our parents and siblings with bombs, assassinations, kidnappings and disappearances,” Jimenez stressed in a previous statement.
ACAVITE’s President Jiménez found it inappropriate that the President of the Canary Islands regional government, Fernando Clavijo Batlle, met with a delegation of the Polisario.
ACAVITE called on President Clavijo to instead support the victims of the attacks and their families.
Political experts in the subject of the Polisario agree this case is complicated, sensitive, and requires national and international support.
The , the last recorded Polisario crime of the 1980s was in 1985, when the Algeria-backed separatist movement attacked a small Spanish fishing boat in international waters near Cape Bojador off the coast of the so-called Western Sahara, in Morocco. .
The Polisario reportedly killed one fisherman and kidnapped five others during the assault. The victims were dragged to Tindouf, in East Algeria, the same source said.
On November 6, 2015, the Spanish Ministry of the Interior recognized the Canary Islands’ victims of the Polisario terrorism, in a ceremony held at the Canary Islands Government Delegation.
Forty-nine victims were decorated, in an act of “memory, dignity, justice, and truth”, according to a report by Spanish newspaper ABC.
Moving forward, ACAVITE has reportedly hired lawyer Miguel Ángel Rodríguez Arias, as its representative to sue the Polisario Front for “crimes against humanity.”
Rodríguez Arias was responsible for the prosecution of five leading members of ETA, a separatist movement in Spain.