The new Memorial Center for the Victims of Terrorism will be in Atocha

The central government has been looking for a building in the capital for some time that can house the second large space of the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism (CMVT), whose main headquarters were inaugurated a year ago in Vitoria.

The new Memorial Center for the Victims of Terrorism will be in Atocha

The central government has been looking for a building in the capital for some time that can house the second large space of the Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism (CMVT), whose main headquarters were inaugurated a year ago in Vitoria. And, as ABC has learned, it has already found it.

It will be in the center of Madrid and, more specifically, very close to Atocha station. A location that could not be more symbolic and timely, since this Madrid delegation of the CMVT will serve to remember all the victims of terrorism, but especially those of the jihadist. The same one that has claimed more than 200 fatalities in the city of Madrid alone, even more than those caused by ETA.

Most of them during the attacks of March 11, 2004, which had that same Atocha station as the epicenter of the tragedy.

The project for this subsidiary of the Memorial Center in Madrid had stalled in recent years. The Ministry of the Interior, led by Fernando Grande-Marlaska, decided to give it a boost. And one of the first steps to begin to achieve it was to find an ideal location in the capital. Government sources confirm to ABC that several options have been considered, even in municipalities in the region such as Alcalá de Henares, although the preferred option has always been the capital.

Some alternatives, such as a building near the Congress of Deputies, were ruled out because they did not meet all the necessary characteristics. And it is that, in addition to areas for exhibitions and other activities of the CMVT, the idea is that the Madrid sub-headquarters also have an auditorium or assembly hall, which requires more space.

At last it seems that the Government has found the ideal building in the Atocha area. The same sources add that this "firm candidate" to house the sub-headquarters of the Victims of Terrorism Memorial Center in Madrid does meet the necessary dimensions, design and architectural characteristics. However, the Ministry of the Interior jealously guards the exact location of the property in question, which could be publicly known "soon", according to the same sources.

This newspaper has also asked the other administrations concerned, such as the Community of Madrid and the city council of the capital, none of which today has official proof of the place chosen by the ministry to locate this permanent and active tribute to the victims. of terrorism not only in Madrid, but throughout Spain and even beyond our borders. The victims' associations and the CMVT Foundation itself assure that they do not have any information regarding the location or deadlines of the future Madrid sub-headquarters either.

The central administration has several facilities in this area in the south of the capital, including those belonging to the public company Administrador de Infraestructuras Ferroviarias (Adif), which manages the Atocha station itself.

The choice of the building in question is decisive in turn for the deadlines of a project that already accumulates more than seven years. In this sense, the sources consulted by ABC are even less specific and limit themselves to ensuring that the work to prepare the space chosen by the ministry would begin "as soon as possible."

Almost half a year ago, in December 2021, the Chief Executive, Pedro Sánchez, announced this project after chairing a meeting of the Board of Trustees of the CMVT Foundation in La Moncloa. The minutes of said meeting indicate that "the start-up of the headquarters in Madrid is a medium-term task", for which no date was noted. Nor when Sánchez himself announced this same initiative again last March, insisting that the opening of the center in Madrid will be “soon”.

Actually, this project dates back to the end of 2014, already during the Government of Mariano Rajoy (PP). It was in October of that year when the Ministry of the Interior, then headed by Jorge Fernández Díaz, entrusted a committee of 14 experts with a report to create the aforementioned Memorial Center for Victims of Terrorism, whose first major milestone was the headquarters of Vitoria , which the King and Queen inaugurated on June 1, 2021. Just yesterday it celebrated its first anniversary, during which more than 30,000 people have visited it.

The next big step in this project was set in Madrid. And it is that the report of these experts, which was made public in February 2015, included several recommendations. The first of them already defined as "necessary" that the memorial center of the Basque capital had a "sub-headquarters in Madrid dedicated specifically to jihadist terrorism."

On the other hand, the capital will host on the 14th and 15th of this month the first International Congress of Victims of Terrorism organized by the Community of Madrid and the San Pablo CEU University Foundation. The first edition of this forum, which will be held at the Teatros del Canal, has the honorary presidency of His Majesty the King, who will not be able to attend due to scheduling problems, and will be closed by the regional president, Isabel Díaz Ayuso.

The organizers also invited Pedro Sánchez, although the General Director of Support for Victims of Terrorism of the Ministry of the Interior, Montserrat Torija, will presumably attend on behalf of the Executive. Her regional counterpart, Commissioner Rocío López, will hold a meeting today with members of the various victims' associations to inform them of the details of this first congress in Madrid.

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