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

Logo of the Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra
Agency overview

1721, as squads

1874-1939 / 1950-1983 as guards the premises of the Delegation of Barcelona

1983, through Law 19/1983 establishing the autonomous police of Catalonia
Preceding agency Esquadres de Catalunya
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* Autonomous Community of Catalonia, Spain
Map of Police of the Generalitat of Catalonia - Mossos d'Esquadra's jurisdiction.
Size 32,114 km2
Population 7.508.106
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
Regional Minister (Conseller) responsible Jordi Jané, Regional Minister for the Interior
Agency executives
  • Albert Batlle, Director General
  • Commissioner Josep Lluis Trapero, Deputy Director
Stations 92
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Mossos d'Esquadra (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈmosuz ðəsˈkwaðɾə]); in English: Troopers (literally "Squad Lads", "Squaddies") are the police force of Catalonia. The force was founded in 1721, but a different Catalan force with a different name, the Escuadras de Paisanos, was one of the oldest[1] police forces in Europe. The term Mossos d'Esquadra was first used as an informal name for this earlier force.

The Escuadras de Paisanos (later known as the Esquadres de Catalunya) are a force from which the Mossos d'Esquadra have no direct descent.


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 with little similarity to the earlier incarnations, with limited attributes and few in number.

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

The current incarnation of the Mossos d'Esquadra was created by a law of the Generalitat of July 14, 1983, basically re-founding the previous corps into a modern police force. They are no longer a military force, but a civilian one. Since then, the Mossos have gradually grown in both number, skills and responsibilities.

Previous Catalan forces

The Escuadras de Paisanos, later known as the Esquadres de Catalunya, are a force from which the Mossos d'Esquadra have no direct descent. They 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 became institutionalised and constituted a militia, which intended to provide security to trade routes and fairs, exposed to constant dangers. They were constituted as a complement to the regular troops of the bourbon army, which had to confront the Miquelets, who persisted as an insurgent redoubt of supporters of Archduke Charles. It was manned by locals, who had to speak Catalan and be familiar with the paths, caves and hiding places in the area. They were eventually placed under military jurisdiction but were 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 regions of origin, and were thus strangers. 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, specially 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 Policia Nacional and 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 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, and in accordance with the principles of the Spanish constitution and all legal provisions therefrom derived, such as the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia and the laws therefrom derived. 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 handle terrorism, identity documents, immigration and other limited responsibilities of the central government.[3]

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

May 2014 - 'HEAD of Catalunya's Mossos d'Esquadra (regional military police force), Manel Prat, has resigned over ongoing allegations of 'unnecessary violence' by officers against members of the public'.[4]

Ranks of the Mossos d'Esquadra

See also


  1. "Història de la Policia de la Generalitat - Mossos d'Esquadra" [History of Police of the Generalitat - Catalan police] (in Catalan). Catalonia, Spain: Generalitat de Catalunya. 27 October 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  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 23 July 2011.
  3. "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 20 April 2012.
  4. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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