Spain marked the one-year anniversary of the terror attacks that killed sixteen people in Catalonia. The commemorations included a ceremony held by the victims’ families on the Las Ramblas promenade, the sight where a van mowed down countless pedestrians. Fourteen people were killed in the incident and two other victims were fatally stabbed. These attacks were claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group, and according to authorities in Spain, the groups cell was dismantled shortly after. Presently, local issues of whether or not to pursue the region’s independence from Spain have become more obvious. Catalan politicians have demanded the region’s independence from Spain, and said that they would use the commemoration event of those killed to express their anger at the King and the head of Spain’s central government. Along with the remembrance of the victims of the attacks, pro-independence banners hung from buildings, and small marches along Las Ramblas held signs saying, “Catalonia has no king.” This resistance from the Catalonian people may soon pose a problem for the central government and law enforcement in Spain. If they are not given the independence that they want, violence and other acts of rebellion may begin to affect the surrounding regions. Some analysts also warn that the upcoming release of thousands of prisoners convicted of terrorism crimes may cause a new threat for Spain and the rest of Europe. The Trump administration will have to work closely with other European nations to prevent terrorist attacks of any nature in the future.

Annemarie A.