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Lorenzo Silva: “In Afghanistan there was no choice but to intervene”

Bevilacqua and Chamorro are back. But this time the investigation of a new crime take them for the first time in Spain bound for Afghanistan. Specifically ‘ Where scorpions ‘ (Destination), the title of the next installment of the literary saga of Lorenzo Silva  is no other place as the basis of Herat where the Spanish contingent was until last year.

Lorenzo Silva mind that until we spent a week at the base did not know what was holding a new case for this pair of bloodhounds of the Civil Guard . This time they face the death of a sergeant occurred within the Spanish base and, therefore, have to travel to the desert, war and the land of scorpions to investigate alongside theGAR (Group Rapid Action). That is the reason that has led Silva to present his best novel in the quarter of Logroño where it is formed and resides Rural Action Unit ( UAR ) of the Civil Guard, which specializes in terrorism (born to confront ETA) and special operations , which was deployed at the base Camp Arena in Herat since 2003 by, among others, needlework military police and Qala-i-Naw, where two companions and translator who accompanied them were killed in an attack 2010 , and the Base Aerial of Zaragoza, where he is deployed the Ala 31 ejecito Air that was in Afghanistan since 2001.

Spanish literature had forgotten, and itwas negligence, the reality of Spain in international conflicts like Iraq or Afghanistan“In the last decade was a chapter that Spanish literature had forgotten, and it was a negligence that was the reality of Spain in international conflicts such as Iraq or Afghanistan, but also Kosovo or Bosnia. the literature has done as well not exist, repeating what was done in his time with the war in Morocco. the novel tries to exploit that part of the Spanish actually less known but very significant , “explains the author to El Confidencial. So I wanted Bevilacqua and Chamorro, his most famous and which reaches more public figures, were the protagonists of this trip to an international mission. “As the series has progressed, I have assumed that Bevilacqua is my way of telling the Spanish reality contemporary. It is my prime broker to tell it .”

In July 2014, Lorenzo Silva managed to travel eight days to the base of Herat. Your feelings are describing his most famous agent. “The first thing that strikes you are the most basic physical sensations. The heat ago – much warmth and dust . These chewing dust continually. And the landscape is completely desolate. I got out for a walk with a convoy per share outside and impresses you know you’re in a bubble surrounded by a potentially hostile territory but on the other hand, is there in front of you. you’re under the same sun and the same powder but on another planet literally “analyzes.

Lorenzo Silva by the UAR after attending a sham intervention in Logroño (Marta Calvo)
Lorenzo Silva by the UAR after attending a sham intervention in Logroño (Marta Calvo)

Precisely these are the sensations that highlight many of the GAR Civil Guards who have been in Afghanistan. “I devoured the book in six hours , ” said Sergeant Jose Manuel Espejo . “Afghanistan was a part of my life a little apart. The last time I visited was in 2013, but this book has transported me back there. There are many details that, if you have not been there, you would not know see how that stroke heat and dust sensation of breathing immediately after stepping off the ramp of the Hercules. ”

“I thought I was not going back to Afghanistan but with this book I came back. It’s a challenge and is quite successful. It is very similar to how it was that post Civil Guard 6,000 kilometers from our border , ” adds Sergeant Javier Latorre , who was the last to leave the country and responsible for lowering the Spanish flag base. A base, by the way, that ours was known as a spa and as a paradise for Americans, as has the Sergeant Felix Lozano , who witnessed the attack that killed two of his colleagues in 2010. highlights another Silva issues addressed in his novel: the family of the military and civil guards who travel abroad. “It ‘s the hardest part , ” he says and stresses that the true heroes are the families who hope in the midst of uncertainty.

“Iraq was a mistake from beginning to end”

In the epilogue of ‘Where scorpions’ Silva says that this novel is a tribute to the civilian and military guards who have given their lives in “the long, often little known and less well understood mission of the Spanish troops in Afghan lands.”Asked why he says that “although this has been a very long speech and in many of its phases has specific agreements in Parliament to authorize the contingent has deepened little why he left or why he was there, what he was doing, what was assumed risk or at what cost were taking and inflicting “. ” In Afghanistan there was no choice but to intervene . In Iraq itself am convinced it was a mistake from beginning to end , ” he adds.

The fundamental problem, he continues, is the communication in such operations to the citizens. “If the goal is to establish a Western democracy in Afghanistan, it is nonsense. It ‘s like putting a chicken farm on Mars. It makes no sense and are not going to get , ” exemplifies. In this mission itself have contributed something. For starters, he notes, “more security for certain layers of the population most exposed and a little more humanity for women. Make the analysis of whether that something worth investing in life or in euros is much more difficult.”

Silva during a mock intervention on the ground of the UAR (Marta Calvo)
Silva during a mock intervention on the ground of the UAR (Marta Calvo)

Also within this desire to describe how it evolves and it is our country, national politics has its place in ‘Where scorpions’. We are in 2014 and Vila and Chamorro talk in the car of the results of the European elections, the emergence of we in the political arena and doubts about whether or not will sink in Spanish politics. What if this conversation occurred in 2016? ” I ‘d have to write it very carefully, but it is clear that looming in 2014 I would not call revolution but substantial change of circumstances”.

15M and those elections were the first serious signs that “someone had pulled the rope too and had broken” he continues. “We are in a situation where clearly understood on which were running no longer works. That is, we have two parties that come from living well in a system designed for their needs, but that has run out. I think not there has been pact because they have not noticed that has run out, that the world was wonderful with absolute majorities, where one could finance the games without limit and even some take money ran out Switzerland . that’s over. it will to reinvent. already tried Granados with Punic and got caught. it seems then how easy it is not to reinvent the system. and there must be something new. that again will be that suddenly we will achieve peace and justice universalnbsp; Well , no. ”

This that half the country is imposed on the other half with intolerable conditions have to leave at some point, “I have some pessimism in some things, but I’m also optimistic that, if someone intelligent, the party representing the traditional policy it will have to realize that  you have to redo the speech  and the new policy that you can not make ‘tabula rasa’. Put the PP takes at least seven million votes the 26J. I do not know if anyone is thinking of deporting these seven million citizens to have a country to the best of their dreams and storm the heavens as well. it ‘s not going to be able to be. and it can not be the mess made by the PP over the years. This that half the country imposed on the other half with intolerable conditions will have to leave at some point , “he says.

That future will be that, most likely, it is reflected in the next adventures of Bevilacqua and Chamorro. Silva confirmed that the saga will continue with a novel every two years at the same time suggests that the next installment is already clear in his head. It will be the tenth of this adventure thriller that recalls, when he devised in 1995 was rejected six times by publishers. ” When I started, the crime novel editorial was leprous ” he says. If it was up starring a couple of civil guards, the predictions could not be worse then. “I told the black novel was not interested in Spain, which had a roof and very few readers and some civil guards was not going to eat a thread, people hated the Civil Guard. At the time that was the conclusion right “.

However, today the black novel has an extraordinary health and Silva saw in that infamous of the Civil Guard the opportunity to innovate . “It was an opportunity to be original, to go against and do what nobody has done. When I discovered that century and a half Guardia Civil investigating crimes and one Spanish writer had made a detective novel with them as an actor, I thought it was for me. How nobody had done! I had the intuition that literarily in his hands something that had not taken advantage of anyone and it was a literary gem, because of what you flee in literature is the usual , what all the world has read “he says while as Bevilacqua and Chamorro, ended this landing at the base of Torrejon de Ardoz aboard a Hercules adventure.