Gabriel Pombo Da Silva
JANUARY – OCTOBER – THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES
To my friends, brothers and sisters, comrades
I remember that last day as if it were yesterday, when !finally! I left (was expelled from) the cold,narrow aseptic cell of the maximum security prison of Aachen, Germany… On January 16 (2013) I was escorted to the airport of Barajas, Madrid, by Interpol, and from there I was taken to the tribunal of Plaza Castilla, not before being photographed (they were particularly interested in my chest as they looked in vain to find a tattoo of the acronym FAI/FRI), ‘playing the piano’ (had my fingerprints taken) in order to ascertain that it was really me… I must say I should have left Germany in November/December but I was blocked because the Italian Republic had issued a ‘European arrest warrant’ to the Bundesanwaltschaft in Karlsruhe as they wanted to extradite me because of ‘Operation Ardire’… ‘Luckily’ (because I’m legally a ‘Spanish citizen’ and a European arrest warrant had been issued previously by this country) the dreams of the Italian ‘Digos’ didn’t come true (at least for the time being), as the German High Court (and their political-judicial management) decided that the ‘circumstantial charges’ pressed against me by the ROS were (and are) insufficient to grant my extradition to the Italian Republic.
Thus I had the good fortune of being saved from knowing the ‘Bel Paese’ through its prisons and judicial system…
I naively thought I had finally shaken off the delirious charges of the Digos and an end would be put to my legal kidnapping in that country…
It is impossible to describe on paper all the feelings-ideas-emotions I felt when I left the prison of Aachen and Germany behind me… After eight and a half years spent ‘buried alive’ in that country (23 hours a day locked up in a cell and only an hour a day in the yard) because I refused to engage in ‘slave labour’ or wear the prison uniform (they also seized or systematically tampered with my letters, which gradually made me reluctant to write over the latter period), I thought that ‘the worst’ was definitely over… When I finally entered the prison of Soto del Real at midnight, imagine my surprise as I saw HOW MUCH ‘things’ had changed in the nearly 10 years of my forced ‘absence’ (?Exile?) from the Hispanic dungeons! I was stunned at finding/seeing the prisoners themselves (real ancillaries of the jailers) being in charge of my registration along with the guards. This first impression was a harsh blow to my morale.
Surprisingly (as I thought I’d be classified as 1st grade and put in the FIES upon arrival), the following day I received a visit of the prison governor and vice governor who said they had been called by the DGIP themselves (they literally said that when the chiefs saw my name the ‘red lights’ came on) and asked me about my intentions on my return. I answered sarcastically that my intentions had always been (and always will be) the same: to conquer my freedom… I was informed that I’d finish ‘my’ sentence on April 10 2015 and would remain in 2nd grade (later I was given an official document on the matter entitled ‘Sentence Clearances) and be moving to my land as soon as possible….
What can I say? Finally, ‘it seems’ that after over 28 years’ prison I have ‘only’ to wait ‘just’ a couple of years before being able to enjoy my long awaited freedom.
Sectioned, Isolated, Segregated for the latter years of my kidnapping in Germany, ALL that was going on was simply amazing. It was an indescribable visual-sensory-emotional ‘overdose’… In a certain way, (and compared to what I suffered in Germany) I felt ‘half free’ and was learning to ‘get used to’ my ‘new’ environment; with ‘so many people’, many hours in the yard, so many colours and the ‘beautiful view’ of the Sierra de Navalcernada… The ‘only’ negative thing was observing how the jailers had taken over the yards and most of the prisoners had become managers of their own detention besides becoming ‘auxiliary guards’. Of course I was taken to a section of ‘troublemakers’ (Módulo 5), where the jailers tried to get me to share a cell with another prisoner… Since I refused flatly to ‘share a cell’ with any prisoner, I was put in the Isolation Section on January 17 for the night … and accused of two ‘very serious’ offences for (according to them) ‘threatening to beat up the prisoner with whom they wanted me to share the cell’ and ‘refusing to obey and resisting’ orders.
After a day in isolation on January 18 I was taken back to Modulo 5 and this time I got a cell by myself… However on January 30 I was notified that I would remain in the FIES-5 (Special Characteristics)… I saw the funny side of it, at least (I said to myself) I won’t get any more ‘disciplinary sanctions’ on the question of ‘sharing a cell’ with someone…
Well …now I only hoped I’d be transferred to Galicia as I had been told on my arrival… On February 16 they told me to pick my ‘stuff’ as I was to be transferred. They didn’t say to what prison but I supposed it would be in Galicia. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was being taken to Alicante! There I was informed about the restrictions to my communication (letters, telephone calls, etc.)… I couldn’t understand.
For the first few months both in Soto del Real (Madrid) and Villena (Alicante) I’ve been subjected to all sorts of obstacles and impediments when writing or talking on the phone with my compañera and my family. However the presence of several ETA prisoners made my stay more enjoyable…
Surprisingly on March 20 the DGIP decides to take me off the FIES-5 and lift restrictions on my communications with the outside. They also ‘authorised’ telephone calls to my sister, my compañera and my lawyer… but on the 3rd or 4th April they told me to pick my stuff because I was to be transferred.
Naively I thought they were finally taking me to Galicia… but what was my surprise once again when they told me that I was going to Valdemoro! Why Valdemoro?
The answer wasn’t long in coming and on April 9th they lead me before the Audiencia Nacional: the ‘Digosos’ had returned to the ‘counter-attack’. I refused to make any statement and rejected the (duty) lawyer appointed to me. On April 16 I was summoned again, this time with my lawyer. I had nothing to say concerning the charges of the ROS against me… they decreed me ‘provisional liberty’ as long as I am still doing time in this country and to ‘temporarily extradite’ me to Italy they had to make an ‘international request’ to Germany (as Germany had extradited me to Spain and dismissed the evidence of the ROS against me), so I had to finish ‘my’ sentence in Spain… I spent the month of April in Valdemoro where I could make contact with both my sister and my compañera. On April 30 I find myself back in Alicante.
Finally on May 31 I have my first ‘vis-à-vis’ with my compañera while phone calls and visits with other comrades gradually became ‘normal’.
On July 15 I left the prison of Villena, destination ‘A-LAMA’… I got to Galicia on July 25. On the 27th I was notified of ‘intervention and limitation’ of communication (simply ‘just because’) with the outside dated !!23rd July!! That is to say I had not even arrived at the prison when the vice governor decided (of his own initiative and against the resolutions of the JVP DGPI of Villena) to take a step backwards and break the ‘rules’, ‘regulations’ and ‘directives’ of his superiors and the judiciary. As I refused to sign his unilateral and arbitrary agreement he thought it well to move me to the FIES-5 (C.E) on October 9! I decided to stop writing (which has always been my window to the outside) since I came to this prison because I don’t accept that ‘some’ guy decides to whom and when I should write or what I should read…
All this adds to the question of the ‘end of my sentence’ and I don’t understand how this shit of a judicial-penal system is that gives me several sentences: a) (the first) in Soto del Real I’m due to be released on April 4 2015 after serving 4/4 of my sentence; b) (the second in Villena-Alicante) dated for the year 2033!! and c) (the third, at A-Lama) where they say I’ll complete ¾ of my sentence in January 2015 when I’ll be eligible for parole, and the total 4/4 of my sentence in 2020. Obviously all this (the ‘new’ inclusion in the FIES + Restrictions on my correspondence, Completion of sentence) has been notified to the JVP of Pontevedra. If this JVP applies his own laws I should be free next year.
I want to say to all the comrades that no matter what the ‘judicial papers’ say and their dirty political manoeuvres, having done 29 years in jail as I have done I’m not going to fall for these miserable people’s provocations now that my freedom is at hand’s reach. I know that the mere fact of me writing these lines (my truth) can give the executioners more pretexts for new ‘transfers’ (either section or prison) and/or administrative type ‘sanctions’. The prison situation in these years of forced ‘absence’ has changed to the point that everything is unrecognisable to me.
There is “now” (it started a few years ago …) in all the prisons of the Spanish State a “novelty” called “Education and Respect sections” and / or “convivial sections”. In some prisons these are already in the majority. But what does this mean? Those who want this Law to be applied (what corresponds to them by law and not the consent of a few usurpers) must go to one of these ‘respect sections’, where they sign a contract where they are ‘programmed’ activities that they must do obligatorily (which violates the LOGP) such as cleaning, studying, sports, etc etc.
The prisoners themselves carry out some of the tasks of the guards and ‘technicians’ to the point of controlling their own fellow prisoners’ ‘medication’ (a euphemism for the drugs they gorge the prisoners with here), and frisking them to see if they are carrying illegal substances or smoking (or not working) in prohibited areas, etc. They also hold ‘meetings’ where some ‘grass up’ the others. Going to one of these sections signifies renouncing all the ‘rights’ granted by the LOGP and which cost us so much blood and the deaths of so many of the ‘old combatants’.
Given what I’ve seen (and as I refuse to swallow this shit) I prefer to stay in so-called ‘conflictual section’ and struggle for my ‘rights’ (the ones I fought for) instead of ‘delegating this responsibility’ to a gang of traitors and jailers.
I want to say that what I am writing here is not meant to be a ‘call for solidarity’ with my situation. This is just an ‘x-ray’ of my situation (and of the many others who haven’t bowed down) and a confirmation that ‘Laws’ and ‘Rights’ are crap, wasted paper, something which they use to invest themselves with ‘order’ and ‘legitimacy’ and thus justify their monopoly of violence (legal and armed).
What I think and what I’ve been (and still am on ‘smaller scale’) reflecting in my writing and in every act of my life.
My solidarity is now (as always) with all those in struggle: Never defeated, Never repentant!
In struggle until we are all free!