SANTIAGO – Chilean Anarchists, Monica Caballero and Francisco Solar, arrived this morning at Santiago’s International Airport, after having been expulsed from Spanish custody and deported back to their home country.
Monica and Francisco had been charged under Spanish Anti-terrorism legislation for the alleged bombing of the Basilica del Pilar Church in Zaragoza, on Oct 2nd, 2013, and were arrested a month after the incident. Spanish prosecution initially sought a 44 year sentence for the accused, but instead received a 12 year sentence in 2014. The Defense took Monica and Francisco’s case to the Spanish Supreme Court, where the sentence was further reduced to 4 and a half years this past December, having dropped one of the initial charges. At the time, the Spanish Supreme Court recognized that the intent of the bombing was to cause structural damage to a religious symbol and thus were charged for loses and damages.
As a final recourse, the Defense submitted a claim under Spanish Penal Law No. 89, which states that foreigners can be deported to their country of origin after having spent a year in prison. The claim was accepted by the court, resulting in the expulsion of Monica and Francisco back to Chile where they will be completely released from custody, pending any possible infractions with the Chilean justice system. Since they have none, they are able to walk free upon arrival passing through Chilean customs. Neither Monica or Francisco ever recognized their involvement in the bombing, and in fact alleged the charges were part of broader state political persecution as Anarchists.
Monica Caballero and Francisco Solar first came to Spain after their charges in the Chilean Anarchist Bombs Case were withdrawn by the Santiago court in 2012. The case was heavily publicized by the mass media throughout Chile when it first came to light in 2010, publically broadcasting the arrest of the 12 accused who were depicted as terrorists. But the case quickly fell apart after insufficient and flimsy evidence was presented by State Prosecution in courts, resulting in the absolution of the Anarchists, as well as a governmental crisis of legitimacy. The Santiago Court ordered the State Prosecution to award $460 million Chilean pesos (approximately $700,000 USD) to the former Anarchist accused for losses and damages of having gone through the legal system, which was later upheld by the Chilean Supreme Court. Francisco Solar was awarded $100 million pesos, while Monica Caballero was awarded $80 million pesos, which they then used to start a new life together as a couple in Spain.
Today, Monica and Francisco will be able to walk free on the streets of Santiago and begin a new life together with their friends, family and comrades. We salute them in the brave dignified efforts throughout all these years of repression and persecution in resisting the confines of State prisons around the world.