Puppeteers in Spain arrested for 'glorifying terrorism,' featuring atrocious killings

Spanish police arrested two puppeteers hired by the city of Madrid for staging a show allegedly advocating terrorism and featuring acts of violence.

Alfonso Lazaro de la Fuente and Raul Garcia Perez were arrested Friday after concerned parents alerted authorities of the street performance, which included a sign reading “Gora Alka-ETA,” a play on words that creates a slogan that sounds similar to “Long Live al-Qaida.”

The company, known as “Titeres desde abajo” (Puppets from below), is based in the southern city of Granada and has in the past performed at events organized by anarchist groups.

The signs also openly celebrated ETA, a banned Basque separatist group responsible for terrorist acts that have killed more than a thousand Spaniards since 1968.

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According to El Mundo newspaper, which posted a video of the show, Lazaro and Perez remained under arrest Monday after being charged with “glorifying terrorism” by a judge from the National Audience. 

Advocating terrorism is considered a crime in Spain since 1995.

The show featured the hanging of a judge, the stabbing and rape of a nun with a crucifix and police beatings.

In a statement, Madrid’s mayor Manuela Carmena called the puppeteers’ actions “offensive, completely misplaced,” following up by suspending the play indefinitely.

The puppeteers' lawyer told El Mundo the show was meant to be a "humorous satire on the occasion of [Madrid's] Carnival" and said the woman represented in the sexual assault is not a nun but a witch.

According to the Independent, in a Facebook post published by the company before the show, the group said:

“We wanted to investigate the possibilities of the popular tradition of puppeteering to tell what you feel as urgent.

“Throughout the show, and under different faces, Don Cristóbal will try to crush a witch, but the nature of this takes her to love his freedom above all and not to be trampled by anyone.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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