Guardia Civil

Guardia Civil
CountrySpain
TypeGendarmerie
Formed1855
MottoEl Honor es mi Divisa (Honour is my Emblem)
HQMadrid
Director GeneralJoan Mesquida Ferrando
Website[1]


Enlarge picture
Río Nervión patrol boat, in Bilbao.


The Civil Guard, in Spanish Guardia Civil, is the Spanish gendarmery. It has both military and civilian functions. It was created in different stages from 1835 to 1844, and was finally established as an operational force in 1855. The policing done by the Civil Guard starting in 1835 was carried out earlier by the Holy Hermandad. As a police force, the Civil Guard is comparable to the French Gendarmerie and the Italian Carabinieri.

History

The Civil Guard was founded in 1844 during the monarchy of Queen Isabel II of Spain by the Basque Navarrese aristocrat Francisco Javier Girón y Ezpeleta, second Duke of Ahumada. The first academy of "guardias civiles" was established in the town of Valdemoro (Madrid. Spain) in 1855. The Guardia Civil's first job was to restore and maintain security in the Spanish countryside. The end of the First Carlist War had left the Spanish landscape scarred by the destruction of civil war, and the government moved fast to prevent the increasing danger of banditry in the rural areas. Based on the model of light infantry used by Napoleon in his European campaigns, the Guardia Civil was born as a police force with high mobility that could be deployed irrespective of inhospitable conditions and that was able to patrol large areas of the countryside. Its members, called 'numeros' (numbers), maintain to this date the basic patrol unit of two agents, usually called a "pareja" (a pair), in which one of the 'números' will initiate the intervention while the second 'número' serves as logistic support. The inner motto the Civil Guard use as their leading emblem is "El honor es mi divisa" (Honor is my emblem). At the foundation of the Civil Guards the Duke of Ahumada stressed the esprit de corps pointing out the importance of honor: "Honor is the measure of the civil guards action. Once honor is lost, it cannot be regained". Their precincts called "casa cuartel" as other military garrisons in Spain appear under the motto "Todo por la patria" (All in the service of the Mother/Fatherland).

Political Involvement

Historically, the Spanish Civil Guard had a tendency to get involved in politics, and it has been seen for many years as a reactionary force. In 1873, General Pavia stormed congress and ended the Spanish First Republic with a company of thirty guardias civiles. Years later, under the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1930) and, later, under the authoritarian government of General Francisco Franco (1939-1975) the Civil Guard was a force of support behind the conservative and even totalitarian governments. It can be said that the Civil Guard has supported established power regardless of the legitimacy of its origins. For a long time their números were feared because of their excesses, great power and authority in local areas; the fact that they covered mostly rural and isolated parts of the country allowed this lack of accountability. Their involvement in politics continued well to the end of the twentieth century: on February 23, 1981, Lt. Col. Antonio Tejero Molina, himself a member of the Guardia Civil, along with a few other 'números' of the Civil Guard, attempted a coup d'etat by holding the lower house of the Cortes hostage during its vote of investiture on Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo as Prime Minister of Spain, even though at this point it could not be said that the whole institution backed this individual action.

The 'guardias' had a mythical reputation in literature and in popular history. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Guardia Civil conducted a campaign against Andalusian anarchists, accusing them of being members of the secret society The Black Hand. Some of the poems by Federico García Lorca, specially in the world-famous Gypsy Ballads, in which the guardias civiles are seen as the natural enemies of gypsies and other marginal figures, are elaborations of the Guardia Civil initial campaign against anarchists in southern Spain. These poems have contributed to the Guardia Civil's traditional reputation as a heavy-handed police force. Nonetheless, the 'guardias civiles' participated in the rebellions of Barcelona in 1937 during the Spanish civil war.

The Modern Force

Today the Spanish Civil Guard has changed much. Many visitors to Spain consider them the most trusted police force in the country. Likewise, native Spaniards acknowledge that “nobody wants to see to them but, at the first sign of trouble, they are the first in calling”. The Guardia Civil's proven effectiveness throughout history in controlling banditry and in addressing the subsequent challenges and tasks given them, meant that additional tasks have been added regularly to their job description. Today, they are primarily responsible for policing and/or safety regarding the following (but not limited to) areas and/or safety related issues (given in no special order): highway traffic, drugs and contraband, customs and airports, safety of prisons and safeguarding of prisoners, weapons licenses and arms control, security of border areas, bomb squad and explosives, security in rural areas and in populations with less than 10,000 inhabitants, terrorism; coast guard, police deployments abroad (embassies); inteligence and counter-inteligence gathering. On July 23, 2007, Roberto Flórez García, a retired guardia civil was charged with spying for a foreign power (allegedly Russia).

Peacekeepers

The Civil Guard has won international respect for their work as peacekeepers in United Nations sponsored operations, including operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Angola, Congo, Nicaragua, Haiti, East Timor and El Salvador. They served with the Spanish contingent in the war in Iraq, mainly in intelligence gathering, and they lost seven 'números'. The Guardia Civil is also known as el instituto armado ("the armed institution") and la benemérita ("the good-deserving"). They served with great distinction in the Spanish colonies, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Morocco. The Guardia Civil has a sister force in Costa Rica

Characteristics

They typically patrol in pairs. Their traditional hat is the tricornio, originally a tricorne.

Since it is considered a military force, its members are not permitted to join trade unions, unlike the parallel National Police. Members of the Guardia Civil often live in garrisons (casa-cuartel) with their families.

The symbol of the Guardia Civil consists of the Royal Crown of Spain, a sword and a fasces.

Special units

Different special units have been added to the corps:
  • UEI (Unidad Especial de Intervención) - Special Intervention Unit,a Special Forces unit.
  • TEDAX (Técnicos Especialistas en Desactivación de Artefactos Explosivos) - Explosive Artifacts Defuser Specialised Technicians (EOD)
  • GAR (Grupo de Acción Rápida (ex. Grupo Antiterrorista Rural)) Antiterrorist Unit.
  • Guardia Civil del Mar - Seashore surveillance and security of ports and harbours
  • SEPRONA (Servicio de Protección de la Naturaleza) - Nature Protection Sevice, for environmental protection.
  • GEAS (Grupo Especial Actividades Subacuáticas) - Divers.
  • Tráfico - Control of freeways and highways.
  • Montaña - Mountain Rescue.
  • Servicio Aéreo - Aerial monitoring (normally from helicopters)
  • Servicio Cinecológico Unit K-9 Drug detection and explosives and people.
  • GRS (Grupo Rural de Seguridad) Unit Anti-riot.

See also

External links


Spanish Armed Forces
Spanish Army | Spanish Air Force | Spanish Navy | Guardia Civil
Motto
"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
Anthem
"Marcha Real" 1
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A gendarmerie or gendarmery (pronounced IPA: /dʒɛnˈdɑrməriː/, or /ˌʒɑndɑrməˈriː/
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Madrid
Puerta de Alcalá at night with El Retiro gardens in the background.

Flag
Coat of arms
Motto: De Madrid al Cielo
(Spanish for "From Madrid to Heaven")
Location
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Motto
"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
Anthem
"Marcha Real" 1
..... Click the link for more information.
A gendarmerie or gendarmery (pronounced IPA: /dʒɛnˈdɑrməriː/, or /ˌʒɑndɑrməˈriː/
..... Click the link for more information.
Hermandad, literally "brotherhood" in Spanish, was a peacekeeping association of armed individuals, a characteristic of municipal life in medieval Spain, especially in Castile.
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Gendarmerie Nationale

Gendarmerie Nationale area
Coverage
Area France (rural)
Size 674,843 km²
Population Approx 66 million
Operations
Formed 1793
HQ Paris
Budget
Officers
Regions
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Carabinieri

Coat of Arms of the Carabinieri

Country Italy
Type Gendarmerie
Formed 1814
Motto Nei Secoli Fedele

HQ Rome
Comandante Generale
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Isabella II
Queen of the Spains

Reign 29 September 1833–30 September 1868
Born 10 October 1830
Madrid, Spain
Died 10 April 1904
Buried El Escorial, Spain
Predecessor Ferdinand VII
Successor
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7 million worldwide
Regions with significant populations
 Basque Country
          Alava

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Comunidad Foral de Navarra
Nafarroako Foru Erkidegoa


Flag Coat of arms

Capital Pamplona (Iruña)
Official language(s) Spanish and Basque
Area
 – Total
 – % of Spain Ranked 11th
 10,391 km
 2.
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Madrid
Puerta de Alcalá at night with El Retiro gardens in the background.

Flag
Coat of arms
Motto: De Madrid al Cielo
(Spanish for "From Madrid to Heaven")
Location
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Motto
"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
Anthem
"Marcha Real" 1
..... Click the link for more information.
Carlists supporting
Infante Carlos of Spain Liberals (Isabelinos or Cristinos) supporting
Isabella II of Spain and her regent mother Maria Christina
Great Britain
France
Portugal
Commanders
Tomás de Zumalacárregui
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Napoléon I
Emperor of the French

Napoleon in His Study by Jacques-Louis David (1812)
Reign 20 March 1804–6 April 1814
1 March 1815–22 June 1815
Coronation 2 December 1804
Full name Napoléon Bonaparte
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Esprit de corps may have several uses:
  • Morale / esprit de corps
  • Esprit de Corps (magazine), a Canadian military magazine
  • Esprit de Corps (1957), a volume by author Lawrence Durrell
For the definition only:

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First Spanish Republic started with the abdication as King of Spain on February 10 1873 of Amadeo I, following the Hidalgo Affair, when he had been required by the radical government to sign a decree against the artillery officers.
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A General Officer is an officer of high military rank. The term is used by nearly every country in the world. General can be used as a generic term for all grades of general officer, or it can specifically refer to a single rank that is just called General.
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Miguel Primo de Rivera y Orbaneja, Marqués de Estella (Jerez de la Frontera, January 8, 1870 - Paris, March 16, 1930) was a Spanish dictator, aristocrat, and a military official who was appointed Prime Minister by the King and who for seven years (1923-1930) was a dictator, ending
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A General Officer is an officer of high military rank. The term is used by nearly every country in the world. General can be used as a generic term for all grades of general officer, or it can specifically refer to a single rank that is just called General.
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Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco Bahamonde (4 December 1892 - November 19 or November 20, 1975), commonly abbreviated to Francisco Franco (pron. IPA: [fɾan'θisko 'fɾaŋko]) or
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February 23 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.

Events


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
1950s  1960s  1970s  - 1980s -  1990s  2000s  2010s
1978 1979 1980 - 1981 - 1982 1983 1984

Year 1981 (MCMLXXXI
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Antonio Tejero Molina (born 1932, Málaga) was a Spanish Lieutenant-Colonel, and the most visible figure in the attempted coup d'état - also known as the 'Tejerazo' - against the Spanish democracy on 23 February 1981.
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coup d'état (IPA: [kuːdeɪˈtɑː] or AHD: [ko͞o"dā tä]), or simply coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, often through illegal means by a part of the state establishment —
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Las Cortes Generales
The General Courts


Type Bicameral
Houses El Senado de España
Congreso de los Diputados
President of the Senate Francisco Javier Rojo García, PSOE PSE-EE
since 2004
President of the Congress Manuel Marín González, PSOE
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Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo y Bustelo, Marquess of Ría de Ribadeo (Don Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo y Bustelo, Marqués de la Ría de Ribadeo) (born April 14, 1926, Madrid) was a Spanish political figure and President of the Spanish government during Spain's period of transition after
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Motto
"Plus Ultra"   (Latin)
"Further Beyond"
Anthem
"Marcha Real" 1
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Andalusian
8.5 million (est)
Regions with significant populations Spain:
  • Andalusia: 6,832,933 (2006)[1]
  • Catalonia: 754,174 (2006)[2]
  • Madrid: 285,164 (2006)[3]
  • Valencia: 218,440 (2006)[4]

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Spanish Regional Federation (also known as simply the Spanish Federation), and outlines for future organization were discussed. The Congress had a clear anarchist flavor despite the presence of non-anarchist members of the International from other European nations.
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