It's a bad day to go to the cemetery.
It rains in the Miranda de Ebro cemetery (Burgos, 35,000 inhabitants).
Nobody puts flowers or prays to their dead.
The only hint of life among the cypresses is in the sentry box, where an "Office" painted on the door invites you to take shelter.
There one of the gravediggers attends, discreet as the guild's code of ethics indicates.
“How do you know?” he exclaims, when asked about an old companion: Pompeyo González Pascual.
This 74-year-old retired undertaker, radicalized in the pro-Russian cause of the war in Ukraine, was arrested on Wednesday for sending bomb letters at the end of 2022 to embassies, ministries or La Moncloa.
What happened has astonished Miranda due to the strange hobbies of whom his neighbors define as a "formal, highly educated man."
One of those who would never prepare homemade explosives.
"This profession attracts those of us who are a bit 'like that', I have always said that it calls for the best in each house," shrugged the municipal employee, who requested anonymity.
thing about the 3ºC apartment at number 2 Calle del Clavel was Pompeyo, who lived alone and barely had a social life since he retired about 10 years ago, after having jumped from his job as an undertaker in the Miranda cemetery to do the same job in the nearby Vitoria.
Not much was lavished on the pit either.
He was "introverted, hardworking and correct, he never positioned himself."
The communist 'sanctuary' of Pompey, the retiree arrested in Miranda de Ebro for sending pyrotechnic letters
Pompeyo left his radical inclinations for privacy, in the safety of his home, where he allegedly made six explosive devices that he sent to the embassies of Ukraine (where he caused one injury) and the United States, to the Moncloa palace, to headquarters of the Ministry of Defense and an arms factory in Zaragoza.
The news broke Wednesday with a large police deployment in his neighborhood.
The Burgos undertaker thought of Pompeyo when he found out that the suspect was "74 years old, lonely, single and worked in Vitoria."
Correct: the television showed a small, gray-haired man covered by his usual cap among dozens of agents.
"For this you have to be worth it," the undertaker says goodbye.
The owner of the Biosfera bar, Víctor Berrueco, was one of the first people from Miranda to discover the operation promoted by the National Court.
The man, who walks his dogs late on Wednesday, explains that that same morning he was doing the same with his pets when he saw a car double parked in front of a gray Peugeot.
He did not know that it was Pompey's vehicle, but he did deduce the profession of the occupants: "They had a face like a cop...".
However, they did not act on a place where Berrueco intuits "trapicheos", but they blocked the possible escape of the retiree.
Pompeyo, petrified before the policemen, only knew how to say "They were wrong", as stated in the statement.
Sources from the Herrero-Alegre law firm, which assisted the arrested ex officio, highlight the "education" with which he treated the agents,
The Police arrived at Pompeyo analyzing his physical trace, until they were able to compare the DNA collected in the envelopes of the explosive letters with that found in his garbage.
His digital footprint was also tracked, as he followed pro-Russian accounts or weapons websites.
To his YouTube profile he uploaded videos recorded with a drone that has been requisitioned and that he had manipulated so that he could launch artifacts from the air like the ones he sent by mail.
This ability fits in with one of his hobbies, model airplanes, as confirmed by a member of the club in Miranda de Ebro: "He once came to see exhibitions, but he never attracted attention."
In the search, pro-Soviet symbols, press clippings from different periods (with information ranging from the First World War to ETA attacks) and numerous republican or revolutionary books were seized.
Likewise, pipes of various sizes, a drill, magnets, cables or a saw were found.
The judge already foresaw this, who authorized the action to search for "those effects, instruments and hardware objects related to the crime under investigation, such as weapons, precursors, explosive substances...".
A company of envelopes corroborated that Pompeyo acquired 25 units like those of the attacks;
the multinational Amazon confirmed that he bought chemical substances, screws, stickers or hinges like those that made up his letters.
A 74-year-old man was arrested in Miranda de Ebro for sending letters with pyrotechnic material to Sánchez and the Ukrainian Embassy
The investigators, who believe that Pompeyo radicalized alone, without ruling out that he was influenced by "other actors", also located a mobile phone, a laptop, a video camera and memory cards and devices.
The National Court ordered his imprisonment on Friday for "risk of committing other criminal acts, to avoid his possible flight to Russia (for which he believes he could end up "receiving help from citizens of that country," the judge wrote) and for " the significance of their violent actions as a means of propaganda for the Russian occupation of Ukraine”.
By chance, when Pompeyo González was leaving Miranda under arrest, an orchestra of 118 Ukrainians arrived in the city.
The entourage tours Spain filling rooms, but will soon return to Kharkiv, one of the most dangerous spots in Ukraine.
Mykolay and Miguel, the translator, walk past their hotel.
Their eyes widen when they hear the story of Pompey.
The assistant interprets the musician's vehemence: “It doesn't seem right to him, but he understands that they are individual things, not general things;
They have to help us so that the problem does not grow.”
“We have had many mechanical and technical problems, but it is incomparable with being surrounded by sirens and bombs”, assumes Miguel.
The facts have led the Court to attribute several terrorist crimes to the defendant, because it understands that the actions of the retired undertaker could "seriously alter public peace" in the context of the war in Ukraine.
Pompey has made another milestone: disturbing the peace of his land.
Below him lives Elisa Rojas, 84, who, like her neighbors, has been "shocked."
"I haven't had more than one chamomile," says the old woman, revolted by such an event in the apartment that Pompeyo acquired 15 years ago.
"His head will have gone", the woman from Burgos muses before closing the door, who enters cold: "I knew nothing about his life, but he always complied with the spills."
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