Spanish puppeteers detained over children’s show, charged with 'glorifying terrorism'
In their performance “The Witch and Don Cristobal” Alfonso Lazaro de la Fuente and Raul Garcia Perez displayed a sign that read a chant referencing the banned Basque separatist group ETA. A popular chant “Gora ETA” which means “Long Live ETA” was transformed into “Gora Alka-ETA” in an apparent reference to Al-Qaeda. The show also featured scenes depicting the hanging of a judge and the rape of a nun.
On Saturday, Judge Ismael Moreno charged them with “glorifying terrorism,” saying the slogan served to justify the crimes committed by ETA and Al-Qaeda.
Madrid's mayor Manuela Carmena described the puppeteers' actions as "offensive, completely misplaced" and announced that the play had been suspended from the carnival celebrations.
The association of victims of terrorism (AVT) called on Madrid’s deputy culture minister Celia Mayer to resign amid the scandal, calling the puppet show “theater of disgrace” on its official twitter account.
However, the friends of unfortunate puppet masters assured the public that the artists had not intended to defend terrorism and were not aware that children would be present at the show.
“They have never thought of this play as for children's theater. Their work is not for children, but no one warned them of what would be the audience", said their friend Angie, as cited by El Espanol.
Another friend told LaVanguardia.com that the play was a reference to the ‘The Puppet Play of Don Cristobal’ by great Spanish poet and playwright Federico Garcia Lorca.