Sensational Seville. God forbid it’s its turn this Easter!

by Jack Wright

There was much expectation as the Semana Santa in Spain drew close. During the week itself hotel occupancy, on average, was reportedly a very high 90% in touristic places as hundreds of thousands of devotees and holidaymakers flocked to the centers of religious processions and the coasts. The summery weather clinched the promising panorama.

But – and here’s the downside – in the midst of the solemn-festive atmosphere there was a suppressed fear of terrorist attacks. Spain has remained one of the very few major countries in Europe that hasn’t suffered the curse. Lately, France has. Repeatedly. So have Belgium, England, Germany, and Sweden.

God forbid it was Spain’s turn this Easter.

The La Macarena Gate in the La Macarena barrio: One of the most terrifying scenes of the stampede was around the float of the Virgin of La Macarena

In a way it was.

So far the Spanish security forces have upstaged the terrorists, thereby preventing repugnant massacre. But one couldn’t help feeling apprehensive when one is caught in the midst of huge milling crowds. For example, the Easter crowds. One couldn’t help thinking that no amount of beefed up security could stop a determined terrorist from carrying out his evil plans.

In Seville, during the religious procession between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, some eight common vandals and hooligans (as well as a criminal with dozens of arrests to his name) decided to sow terror. Banging metal bars to simulate gunfire, chanting Islamist slogans, and even simple screams, with the malicious intent of terrorizing the people, resulted in a frightful stampede where an estimated hundreds sustained physical injuries and anxiety attacks.

The bars used by the hooligans to terrorize the people in the madruga procession

The multi-scare occurred in different places at more or less the same time – around 4:00 a.m. of Good Friday. The solemn Sevillian madrugá became a scene of terror.

False alarm.

But you couldn’t create one if people didn’t have it at the back of their minds that they were vulnerable.

In a way, Islamist terrorism won out for some terrifying moments in Spain’s Semana Santa.



Featured image by Brd Ellison, CC BY SA2.0
Macarena Gate, PD
Bars, courtesy Ayuntamiento de Sevilla

About Jack
Jack has been with Guidepost for more than a decade now and sees no end to his association with The Dean. He travels around with his ubiquitous laptop, ready to pound it when a story hits him. He loves writing and doesn’t shy away from controversy; he could be mordant in his articles.
Jack has a bachelor’s degree with Political Science for major.