Edelweiss affair: The most dangerous sect in Spain is reborn in a documentary

When hearing the word edelweiss, some people think of smiles and tears; others out of gallantry, but those with more memory will remember what is probably the most dangerous sect in the history of Spain, a criminal structure that mixed carca ideology, aliens and sexual abuse . Edelweiss was one of the paramilitary groups formed in the 1970 division by Eduardo González Arenas, nicknamed Eddie, a former legionnaire and member of a wealthy Madrid tribe; the Pied Piper of Hamelin, as prosecutor Fernando Oliete called him in the 1991 summary; Almighty, in the words of his lieutenant, Carlos de los Ríos. A psychopath, according to psychologist and criminologist Vicente Garboso. For almost three decades, thanks to his family contacts, hundreds of children between the ages of 7 and 14 were abused in the various organizations he founded with total impunity, until in 1998 his throat be sliced ​​by a teenager on the terrace of an ice cream parlor in Ibiza. cream. creamery

The Edelweiss suitcase is the protagonist of the first innovative production of RTVE Play. This documentary series, simply titled Edelweiss, directed by Eulogio Romero, includes testimonies from some of the story’s protagonists, including Carlos de los Ríos, Eddie’s right-hand man, and José Antonio Ávila, case inspector in the division 1980 Also with the opinion of cult experts like Eduardo Impetuoso, which anchors the roots of the structure in the rise of ufology, caused by the alleged sightings of UFOs that invaded part of Spain at the end of the sixties, and more precisely in the Ummo Cas. Name of the impostor planet whose symbol was imaged under the armpits with a hot iron by members of the Edelweiss Iron Guripa.

That the Spain of the late 1960s, looking up at the sky so as not to see what was happening on earth, was a neighborhood conducive to destructive cults like that of Los Niños de Almighty, whose leader David Berg, persecuted by the American authorities, established its Colchoneta in Tenerife in the spring of the seventies. . Canarias was even one of the points where Edelweiss developed his network of child prostitution, but its core was in Madrid, especially in the wealthy neighborhoods where González Arenas settled comfortably.

Eddie wove his web, protected by his good demeanor, sweet conversation and family connections. He takes advantage of the involuntary complicity of renowned parishes and schools to attract children to whom he offers to join a mountain clan carrying out various activities in the Sierra de Guadarrama. He took different precautions to ensure that these were children from wealthy backgrounds but with emotional deficiencies or family conflict. He offered them a space where they could feel safe and privileged. “We thought we were more than the others,” says David P., one of the victims, in the documentary. He also had the cooperation of parents who could not even imagine what was really going on. “One day the 13-year-old boy comes and says he’s going camping with some other friends; and of course you can’t deny it,” a Franco later told EL PAÍS. came home and said they didn’t care.”

The activities that took place on these trips into the mountains were like those of any martial arts group, one of Eddie’s great obsessions. “From the beginning of the division in 1970 until November 1984, when the police dismantled Edelweiss and arrested its leaders, all the mountain groups organized by Eduardo González Arenas relied on three of his obsessions: people, planets and uniforms,” ​​he said. Ordaz in a news. that Published in EL PAÍS in 1996. In this “pro-Nazi structure”, as Eduardo Impetuoso vehemently “because of its approaches, its ideology and its appearance”, the children dressed in the style of the Hitler Youth: green shirts, work pants or bloomers, red socks, hood and neck warmer.

His martial training was aimed at surviving in extreme situations. But survive what? To the great nuclear catastrophe that would destroy our planet in 1992. The known world would disappear and Eddie was the only one who could save it because although he lived on earth he was Prince Alain of the planet Nazar and he and his followers would take refuge on the planet Delhais, “an opportunity without violence, without crime”. And no drugs.”

But to obtain this redemption, they had to join the clan, and one of the secret tests of observance was to agree to have sexual relations with the men who were indicated to them. For such was Edelweiss’s actual function: to look after the children of the pederast Eddie and, for a fee, other adults. At the time, the AGAMA (Madrid Gay Assembly, which would later become the contemporary COGAM) protested against the constant media demonization of the term queer when it was naively referred to as pederasts. It didn’t help much.

a dark song

“I swear on my honor to fight until my crime and to belong to the Delhais Iron Guripa to defend three fundamental and universal concepts: appreciation, equanimity and confidence, to apply them to myself, to go the path of truth until Perfection counts for the planet Delhais, in the service of my prince, the Great Alain.

These were the words the members of Edelweiss had to speak to become Iron Guards, the ultimate goal of all children within the structure. A class that functioned like the Sonderkommando carca: they were children who had gone from victims to executioners, usually when they were no longer young enough to attract the leader, i.e. around the age of 12 year. In a pyramid structure of class membership, they were Eddie’s lieutenants. The main character, Carlos de los Ríos, offers chilling testimonies in the documentary, and few regrets. Who does not appear is his other henchman, Ignacio de Miguel, son of sociologist Amando de Miguel, who spoke in 1991 in the Tribunal Popular presented by Francisco Pérez Abellán.

De Miguel, who joined Edelweiss at age 11, was one of the main beneficiaries of the sect due to his family ties. The parents of the other children relied on his ease with words and his surname. In Abellán’s software, he confessed that he came to steal money from his tribe to give to Eddie, and that he himself recruited his brother Boeotian.

The excesses of Edelweiss remained in the background until 1984, when the media, faced with numerous complaints, found an echo of what was happening in this supposed mountain association. About 30 families in the Retiro region reported Eddie after a boy told his cause what really happened in the camps. Added to this is the sect’s attempt to betray one of the children outside Spain: Edelweiss is preparing Operation Ocean, which will mean its international expansion. At that time it already had bases in the Canary Islands, Vigo, Cáceres and Alicante. Some of the recruits later claimed that the martial training was intended to sell them to South American guerrillas as child soldiers.

The police questioned the children of the complainants. The boys were threatened with castration if they spoke too little, but in the end the little ones broke down and spoke, although the older boys remained silent. When the audacity began, Eddie and his lieutenants fled the country.

These were not his first complaints. Prince Alain was an old acquaintance of the authorities who, in the past, had organized groups with pro-Nazi ideology and the corruption of minors. In 1976, he was arrested after denouncing abuses, but was placed in trust after six months in prison. Upon his release from prison, he moved into his parents’ house in Las Rozas and was expelled from the neighborhood without further explanation after a new mountain range formed in the area. At that time, there was no warning. Nobody wanted the scandal to break out. He had also spent some time in prison in 1982, and during his brief time in prison it was de los Ríos and de Miguel who recruited the children with whom they would eventually share a room in court.

Edelweiss was the continuation of another signal structure Edelweiss Green Berets, even of a paramilitary nature, whose members had set up a constant vigil in front of a portrait of dying Franco and had gone to the hospital in La Paz a few days before his crime to give him a bouquet of flowers. .

The accusations against Eddie were new to the media, but only then did they have an effective impact. The magazine Interviú, in whose pages the journalist Consumado Conde devoted three exclusive reports to the sect, revealed that Eddie was divorced from a granddaughter of the Dominican dictator Leónidas Trujillo, with whom he had a son. We also learned that he had a daughter with one of the women of the sect (as soon as there were half a dozen of them) because, according to Eddie, “the woman is an imperfection, a symbol of evil” and her way to the planet Delhais was forbidden. . According to police investigations, the student had been sold to a Sevillian hymen for two million pesetas.

“Thanks to our complaint to the police station in the Pilar extension, everything could now be prepared”, complained the first plaintiff of the Edelweiß clan in 1976. “But most of the parents involved, including the police, were afraid of the scandal “.

In 1991, the case against the sect made the news of the year. It attracted so much media attention that nearly 50 families withdrew their complaints to avoid hurting or embarrassing their children. During the summary, one of the witnesses said of the sexual excess: “It was not routine”. And he added, “We saw it as one step closer to achieving the perfection that would bring us to the planet as the chosen ones.” It was also revealed that they were usually taken to hotels or guesthouses, where they were taken by strangers. they were abused. It was the sect’s main funding.

“Edelweiss is gone, but not the spirit that drove her, and we’re going to bring her back one way or another,” Eddie said after the summary. He was sentenced to 168 years in prison, but he only served six because of his good behavior, his extensive knowledge of the Criminal Code, which allowed him to take all kinds of advantages, because the sentences for rape at the time were ridiculous. “We always said that fairness was the same for everyone, but I always thought it wasn’t, and it’s as if Eduardo González was from a good tribe,” said the judge Marta Díaz in the documentary.

After his release from prison, Eddie moved to Ibiza, to Santa Eulalia, where his parents had a house. He opened a cocktail bar and traded children from good families for uprooted children he thought no one would care for. But the complaints did not wait. He was stressed by three boys aged 11 to 14, but they released him again. On September 1, 1998, a year after his release from prison, he had his throat slit with a carving knife by Juan Martín García, Juanito, an 18-year-old delivery man from the island who had previously reported him. “I did what I had to do. It won’t bother the children anymore,” he said during the summary hearing, where he was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Twenty-three years later, in front of Eulogio Romero’s camera, he asks himself: “Why do I have to repent?”

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