Catalans set to go it alone
fered more detail about theh hotel security guard who is credited with saving countless lives after he approached Paddock’s room and distracted him. “Jesus Campos is a true hero,” he said.
“He was dispatched to what they call a door alarm on th the 32nd floor floor. “He went up there to investigate and as he was doing his job diligently, he came under fire from our suspect. He notified his dispatch, which was absolutely critical to us knowing the location, as well as advising e responding officers.” BARCELONA: Catalonia, the famed region of Spain fronting the Mediterranean, could declare independence as early as tomorrow, as the country is gripped by its worst political crisis in more than 40 years.
Hundreds of soldiers have been deployed to the area as its president, Carles Puigdemont, vowed to push ahead with making the break from Madrid.
A referendum held last weekend despite a High Court ruling it illegal led to thousands of protesters clashing wi with police (pictured) and resu sulted in 893 people and 33 po police officers being injured, as Sp Spanish national police seized b ballot boxes and tried to shut th the vote down.
Not since the end of the Franco regime in 1975 has Spain been gripped by such serious political turmoil, which led to King Felipe criticising t the independence movement, and the European Union trying to simultaneously condemn the police violence while urging the nation to remain united.
Residents are on edge ahead of Mr Puigdemont’s announcement, an anxiety heightened by the arrival of 20 truckloads of soldiers deployed around the region as Madrid tries to regain control.
Disturbing scenes from last Sunday’s referendum showed police firing rubber bullet and beating protesters, with images emerging on social media of police physically dragging away the elderly and hurling protesters to the ground. In some areas, local firefighters formed a human barrier between national police and protesters, while the local Catalan police force, Mossos, tried to remain neutral.
The vote went ahead despite Madrid government officials arresting 14 Catalan leaders and seizing hundreds of ballot boxes in a bid to stymie the poll.
Australian woman Michelle McCarthy, who lives in Barcelona, said it had been “horrible to see that bloodshed and the police shooting rubber bullets into the crowds’’.
“When I stepped outside on the day of the polling there were riot vans everywhere and police with batons and machine guns. It was so intimidating,” she said.
“The whole energy of the city felt angry.”
About 7.5 million of Spain’s population of 46.5 million live in Catalonia which makes up about 20 per cent of Spain’s gross domestic product. It’s loss would be like Victoria or NSW breaking away from Australia.
Clark County Undersheriff Kevin McMahill