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History of the Guardia Civil

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The Guardia Civil was founded in the reign of Elizabeth II of Spain, and endorsed by Gonzalez Bravo’s Government, with a general consensus among the different political forces. The Decrees of 28 March and of 13 May 1844 gave shape to this new Corps, establishing that it was accountable to the Ministry of Governance as regards its tasks, and to the Ministry of War
as regards its structure, discipline, personnel, supplies and financing. In 1824, the Duke of Ahumada, inheritor of the first project conceived in 1824 by his father, the Marquis of Las Amarillas, put his own stamp on it (strong discipline, stamina, loyalty and a praiseworthy spirit). GC´s engagement in humanitarian activities, its tribute to honour and thoroughness in the performance of its tasks has conferred it, from the very beginning, the respect and admiration of the people, who started calling it the ‘Benemérita’ (Praiseworthy or Meritorious Corps); this has been its official denomination since 4 October 1929.
From the very beginning, Guardia Civil has devoted itself to the surveillance of roads, adapting its methods to new challenges. In fact, the generalised use of vehicles on the roads required an organizational response: the creation of the Road Traffic Group in 1959, a pioneering experience which became a model for other groups and units within the Corps. Throughout its long history, the
Guardia Civil has provided exceptional services in an effort to prevent both general and specialized crimes-remarkably succeeding in its fight against terrorism. As a result thereof, both its members and their relatives have been the target of the most extreme and coward violence, with 241 fatalities.

The Guardia Civil is one of the most appreciated values for the Spanish people and is closely linked to them, since it embodies some of the most distinguishing marks of Spaniards. Given its tradition, vocation and performance, Guardia Civil is an essential law enforcement agency for the future of Spain, since it serves citizens from a modern perspective and according to new challenges, while keeping the traditional values that have distinguished the daily work of this institution for more than one century and a half.

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