Why Catalonia is where it is today?


After the Franco dictatorship, Catalonia approves its Statute of Autonomy, which grants it devolved regional powers.


A new Statute of Autonomy is agreed on between the Spanish and Catalan governments and approved Catalan parliament.


A heavily modified version of the new Statute.

The right-wing Popular Party, denounces the Catalan Statute before the Constitutional Court of Spain, arguing that it infringes on the Spanish constitution.


The Spanish Constitutional Court suspends essential articles of the new Statute of Autonomy affecting the recognition of Catalonia as a nation, protections for the Catalan language, regional tax collection powers.

The sentence of the Constitutional Court is met with a massive protest of over a million people in the streets of Barcelona calling for the right to self-determination.


The Popular Party gains an absolute majority in the Spanish parliament in early elections, and its leader, Mariano Rajoy, becomes president.


Two key grassroots civil society groups, Òmnium Cultural and the Catalan National Assembly, organize a march on Catalonia’s national day, September 11th, where over a million people clamor for independence.

The Catalan president offers the Spanish government to negotiate a new fiscal arrangement between Catalonia and Spain, which is refused. In response, he announces that a vote on independence will take place.


Catalonia holds a non-binding “citizen’s vote” on independence and, faced with non-recognition from Madrid, the Catalan president calls of early elections.


Pro-independence political parties, running on a platform of organizing a binding independence referendum, win a majority of seats in the Catalan Parliament in the 2015 regional elections.


The Catalan government announces that the independence referendum will take place on October 1st, 2017.

The Spanish government sends over 10,000 policemen to Catalonia in order to prevent the referendum from taking place.

September 20th

As part of the operation against the referendum, Spanish police arrest 14 public servants and search the Catalan Economy Ministry HQ, among others. Around 40,000 people gather in front of the building in protest, with the heads of the ANC and Òmnium Cultural, Jordi Sànchez and Jordi Cuixart, volunteering to manage the crowd.

October 1st

Despite the efforts of the Spanish government, citizen participation ensures that the referendum takes place. Images of the Spanish police violently attacking peaceful voters are seen the world over. In the end, 90% of the 2.4 million Catalans who braved the difficulties to vote said “yes” to independence.

October 16th

Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez are charged with sedition (punishable with up to 15 years in prison) and placed in pretrial detention. They will remain 2 years in this situation. .


October 27th

In response to the result of the referendum, the Catalan Parliament declares the independence of Catalonia.

October 28th

The Spanish government suspends Catalonia’s home rule, calls early elections, and removes the democratically-elected Catalan government, whose members are summoned to declare before a judge in Madrid the following week.

October 30th

Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and several Catalan ministers go into exile in Belgium and Scotland.

November 2nd

Those members of the Catalan government who go to declare in Madrid, including vice-president Oriol Junqueras, are charged with sedition, rebellion, and misuse of public funds and are placed in pretrial detention.

November 3rd

An European arrest warrant is emitted against those who went into exile, all of whom are requested to appear before a local court, in Belgium and Scotland. None of the exiled politicians has been extradited to Spain, after three years. 

December 21st

The new Catalan elections take place, and the pro-independence parties once again win a majority of seats. Nevertheless, the Spanish government decides to block the investiture of any politician involved in a judicial process.


March 25th

President Puigdemont is arrested in Germany, and all other former ministers are made to appear before local courts.

May 14th

After many months of negotiations, complicated by Madrid’s refusal to accept the candidates put forth by the winning coalition, Quim Torra becomes the new Catalan president, allowing Catalonia to regain its home rule.

May 16th

The Belgian court rejects the extradition of the Catalan ex-ministers under its purview.

June 1st

The right-wing government of Mariano Rajoy falls after a motion of no-confidence triggered by corruption scandals within the Popular Party. The Socialist Party of Pedro Sánchez is in power now. 

July 12th

The German court rejects extraditing president Puigdemont for sedition and rebellion.

July 19th

Left with the possibility of only judging president Puigdemont for misuse of public funds, the judge in charge of the case once again withdraws all European Arrest Warrants.

October 16th

Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez mark a full year in pretrial detention.

October 25th

The case of the Catalan Leaders arrives to the Supreme Court. The public prosecution requests between 7 and 25 years of prison, 17 years in the case of Jordi Cuixart.


February 12th

The trial of the Catalan Leaders starts in the Supreme Court. This trial would last 52 sessions, almost half a year, during which the Catalan leaders were kept in a jail in Madrid, 600 km from home. 

June 13th

End of the trial, after more than 420 witnesses declared in front of the Court. It is known by all that the condemnation will be harsh. 

September 23rd

Knowing that the sentence of the trial was imminent, Spanish police detains 9 Catalan independentists on the grounds of “terrorism” to scare people from taking the streets if the condemnation was harsh. It has been proved nowadays that all charges were fake. 

October 14th

The Supreme Court condemns the Catalan leaders to between 9 and 13 years of prison each of them, a total of 100 years, for the crime of “sedition”. Our chairman Jordi Cuixart is sentenced to 9 years in prison. 

October 14th - 21st

The week following the condemnation, protesters took the streets in every corner of Catalonia. The police acted brutally against the people, and 579 civilians were injured,4 of whom lost the sight in one eye due to rubber bullets, fired by the Spanish police. 


March 6th

Jordi Cuixart’s legal team presents an appeal for constitutional protection against the condemnation, in front of the Spanish Constitutional Court, demanding the suspension of his convictions on grounds of being unconstitutional, and appealing for his release from jail while awaiting the court’s resolution. This is the last step required before being able to bring the case in front of the EHRC. 


June 21st

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe urges Spain to release the Catalan political prisoners and to withdraw the international arrest warrants of the exiles, including Catalan president Carles Puigdemont.

June 22nd

The Spanish Government pardons the Catalan political prisoners, including Jordi Cuixart, president of Òmnium Cultural. This step comes after years of international pressure and doesn’t solve the conflict between Catalonia and Spain. Pardons don’t stop either the repression against the self-determination movement.

September 15th

The Catalan and the Spanish governments meet in Barcelona to begin “talks” between the two executives. Spanish PM dismisses to talk about self-determination or an amnesty for the victims of reprisals.