In the mansion on Calle Miguel Ángel in Madrid, where it is said that the commissioner VillarejThe He almost came to blows with those who confronted him, there in those offices where they say the last political brigade was perpetrated, an unrepentant anonymous governs, Francisco Pardo Piqueras, for more signs Director General of the National Police. They whisper that upon his arrival in office he had to put firm certain commanders, colleagues of those in the plot, who wanted to sneak him according to what reports and apocryphal pieces of paper to sign, without even suspecting that this veteran politician reads everything first. Everything. In the dome you found did a deep clean, they preach eye to build
Solvent teams and, if there were patriotic sewers, they assure theirs that they have left that like a whistle.
It’s been four years since Pardo commands the Corps and he hasn’t given up a bad headline, nor a good one. That he is someone trustworthy is revealed by the fact that, recently appointed Secretary of State for Defense in 2004, he was appointed absolute authority to decide during wedding of the then Prince of Asturias the shooting down of any plane that could be detected under terrorist control for suicide purposes, even if it had hundreds of passengers inside. What came to be to abort 11-S, which at that time still flared in the retinas, as well as 11-M, which had been two months ago. That responsibility was consolidated in 2005 by law, which made him the owner of a very powerful red button and a public servant 24/7 that under no circumstances could he disconnect from his own. Not a minute with the phone turned off.
A story of tenacity
But placing Francisco Pardo in roles more typical of 007 or the cold war has something of the world turned upside down. Reserved, not shy, extremely affable until it’s time to take out the colmillo, which has it, does not grant interviews. His head of communication ditches that the director of the Police is not there to give interviews and there is no more to talk about. That way you don’t screw up either. It is a high position refractory to protagonism. The opposite of who was his boss for more than a decade, Joseph Bono, under whose orders, with temperance and holy patience, he was in the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha, among others as director of the Cabinet and advisor to the Presidency and whom he would later accompany to the Ministry of Defense to act as number two in the department, where it was key to creation of the Military Emergency Unit (UME).
Those who know him well joke that the most intrepid thing Francisco Pardo has done was move to Toledo –where he still resides with his wife and mother of his two children– leaving Albacete, his tiny Abengibre hometown of less than a thousand inhabitants. There he forged what would be his national record in the 2,000 meters cadet category training as a distance runner, commitment discipline, tenacity and mental strength that, they say, contains a whole way of facing life. Also in the town he began to work helping in the fields, selling melons with his father’s van and there he would return after graduating in 1985 in Law in Murcia.
The intrahistory of who today commands the 70,000 Spanish police officers and accumulates more powers than many ministries, is the eldest of three brothers of one humble family rooted in a humble land, from which he left to go to the military – he to Valencia, Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment – and only if there was a lot of vocation, to study high school, which had caught him in the twilight of the dictatorship also in Valencia. Universidad Laboral de Cheste, in the midst of the twilight of the dictatorship, which would configure its socialist hunch and the later affiliation to the PSOE.
He was not Pardo from the seminary, as was customary in those rural Spains, he is not known for religious fervor, although an old colleague assures that «Even if he is an atheist, this man will go to heaven». And in the absence of the unlikely confirmation of such a Christian end, where we already know that he never went is to occupy the promising position in the legal department of a flashy bank that he achieved shortly after graduating. There were half a thousand applicants, two places and he took one. He was about to, but a professor at the academy where at the same time he was preparing to testify, because Pardo was going to be a prosecutor, took away the idea, Paco -he would tell him- yours is the public service. And yes, it was, but by way of the executive power from the moment that politics crossed his path, in which he has basically acted as a manager, not of device upstart.
at the revolving door
Twenty-four years in a row he would be chaining different tasks in the administrations until in 2012 he decided to go – his words – to “earn a living with a professional activity”. Five years ago he had left the Ministry of Defense, occupied the Presidency of the Castilian-La Mancha Courts and the Vice Presidency, and would join a private company, Tecnove SL, one of the main winners… of the Ministry of Defense itself. It provided, among others, the food to troops in Iraq or Afghanistan, for which he came to invoice 130 million in the mandates of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Fifty of them from 2004 to 2007, the era of Pardo, who with his signing as vice president in that company was introduced to the wonderful world of revolving doors.
On the sidelines, the judge filed a complaint against him for the supposed lack of protection of the agents at the beginning of the pandemic presented by the Jupol union, linked to Vox, and emerged unscathed from the dust storm that caused the dismissal of the head of the Occupational Risk Prevention Service, the doctor Jose Antonio Nieto, which in January 2020 had been anticipated asking for measures against what was coming from above Wuhan and no one heard. The purge was attributed to the head of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
Those who crow that Francisco Pardo wants to end his career as a minister are wrong, so except for a last-minute twist in the script –which could be anything–, this at the head of the National Police It will be his last service to the State. There are no individual ambitions in it and although he is now 60 years old, it is time to prioritize the personal. This race is nearing the finish line.