Mossos D'Esquadra
Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Policia de la Generalitat de Catalunya - Mossos d'Esquadra
Common name Mossos d'Esquadra
Abbreviation Mossos
Mossos d'Esquadra.svg
Logo of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Emblema de los Mossos d'Esquadra.svg
Badge of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Agency overview
Formed 1721, as squads
1874-1939 / 1950-1983 as guards of the premises of the Delegation of Barcelona
1983 as autonomous police of Catalonia
Preceding agency Esquadres de Catalunya
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain
Catalonia location map.svg
Map of Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra's jurisdiction.
Size 32,114 km²
Population 7,508,106
Legal jurisdiction Catalonia
Governing body Generalitat de Catalunya
Constituting instrument Act 19/1983
General nature
Operational structure
Overviewed by Directorate-General of Police
Headquarters Egara Central Complex, 08206 Sabadell
Mossos 16,869
Minister (Conseller) responsible Joaquim Forn[1], Minister of the Interior of Catalonia
Agency executives
  • Office Suspended, Director General
  • Office Suspended, Deputy Director
Stations 92
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.
Mossos d'Esquadra patrol vehicle at night.

The Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan pronunciation: ['mosuz ð?s'kwað]; in English: Troopers, literally "Squad Lads", "Squaddies") are the police force of Catalonia, largely replacing the Guardia Civil of other regions of Spain.

The force was founded in 1951 but takes its name from the informal name of an earlier force, the Escuadras de Paisanos, formed in 1721.


On July 21 1950 the Deputation of Barcelona was authorised to create a small security force using the historical title Mossos d'Esquadra. These new Mossos were a militarized corps having little similarity to the earlier incarnations, with limited powers and small numbers.

With the return of democracy to Spain, the Mossos d'Esquadra grew in number and powers. Since October 25 1980 the force has been under the authority of the Generalitat de Catalunya (the regional Government of Catalonia).

Previous Catalan forces

The Escuadras de Paisanos, later known as the Esquadres de Catalunya, (and informally known as the Mossos d'Esquadra), were men-at-arms who had fought as irregulars in the War of the Spanish Succession, and were brought together by the mayor of the town of Valls near Tarragona between 1719-1721. The corps was constituted as a militia to provide security to trade routes and fairs. It was created as a complement to the regular troops of the Bourbon army, which opposed the Miquelets, who survived as rebel supporters of Archduke Charles.

It was manned by local people, who had to speak Catalan and be familiar with the paths, caves and hiding places in the area. It was eventually placed under military jurisdiction but was less centralised than the Spanish police force (then known as the 'Intendencia General de Policía') formed in 1817, or the yet-to-be-established 'Guardia Civil', both of which were systematically deployed away from their home regions, and thus strangers to the places where they served. Throughout the centuries it has passed back and forth from Catalan authority to Spanish military command several times. They were dissolved in 1868 by General Prim after the fall of Queen Isabella II of Spain, since the Mossos had always been royalists.

They were reinstated in 1876 under the reign of Isabella's son king Alfonso XII of Spain, but only in the province of Barcelona. Under his son Alfonso XIII of Spain, the Mossos were not well regarded in Catalonia, especially by the Commonwealth of Catalonia, who paid them but had no control over them. They flourished, though, under Primo de Rivera's dictatorship. When the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed, however, the Mossos sided with the Generalitat de Catalunya. After the Spanish Civil War, the last Mossos left Catalonia with the President of the Generalitat, and the corps was dissolved by the Francoist authorities.

Current role

The Mossos d'Esquadra have now replaced Spain's Guardia Civil within the territory of Catalonia. This process of substitution began in 1994 and was completed in 2008.[2] In November 2005, the Mossos took full duties in the city of Barcelona.

The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia[3] (Catalan: Estatut d'Autonomia de Catalunya) defines that the scope of action of the Generalitat Police Force - Mossos d'Esquadra is the whole of the Catalan territory, and states that it exercises all the functions of a police force in the following fields:[4]

  • Public safety and public order.
  • Administrative policing, including that deriving from State regulations.
  • Judicial policing and criminal investigation, including the various forms of organised crime and terrorism, in the terms established by law.

The Mossos d'Esquadra are a police force of the Spanish state placed under the authority of the Generalitat de Catalunya within the territory of the autonomous community of Catalonia. The Policia Nacional and the Guardia Civil, on the other hand, are commanded directly by the Spanish ministry of the interior. They keep some officers in Catalonia to support the fight against terrorism, to handle identity documents, immigration and other limited responsibilities of the central government.[5] However, when there was a dispute between the governments of Catalonia and of Spain about Catalonia becoming independent, and the Catalonian government called a referendum for 1 October 2017, the Spanish government sent thousand of members of the national Guardia Civil to Barcelona with the intention of preventing voting.[6] as the referendum was illegal according to the sentence of the Spanish Constitutional Court.

The Mossos are trained in the Institut de Seguretat Pública de Catalunya (Public Safety Institute of Catalonia), which also trains local police officers.

Ranks of the Mossos d'Esquadra
Rank Mosso Caporal Sergent Sotsinspector Inspector Intendent Comissari Major
Insignia Sense galons.gif Mossos Caporal.png Mossos Sergent.png Mossos Sotsinspector.png Inspector.gif Intendent.gif Comissari.png Major (Mossos d'Esquadra).gif


See also


  1. ^ "Nou govern: Joaquim Forn, l'home que dirigirà els Mossos l'1-O" [Joaquim Forn, the man that will lead the Mossos in 1 October 2017]. Diari de Girona (in Catalan). EFE. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ "El desplegament de la Policia de la Generalitat - Mossos d'Esquadra" [The deployment of Police of the Generalitat - Catalan police] (PDF) (in Catalan). Catalonia, Spain: Generalitat de Catalunya. November 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia". Wikipedia. 2017-09-21. 
  4. ^ Statue of Autonomy of Catalonia 2006, Article 164.5 on Public Security -
  5. ^ "Funcions de la Policia de la Generalitat - Mossos d'Esquadra" [Functions of the Police of the Generalitat - Catalan police] (PDF) (in Catalan). Catalonia, Spain: Generalitat de Catalunya. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2012. 
  6. ^ "Catalonia referendum defies Spanish obstruction". BBC News. 30 September 2017. Retrieved 2017. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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