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The Spy who aborted the mediation with ETA

The film ' Moving the Skin ' investigates the friendship between the negotiator of the Basque conflict Juan Gutiérrez and the only member of the current CNI convicted of treason, Roberto Flórez

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The Spy who aborted the mediation with ETA

On June 19, 2013, Day of its 81 birthday, Juan Gutiérrez, director for 14 years of Center for Peace Research Gernika Gogoratuz and exnegotiator between ETA and state, was reconvened with an old friend, Roberto. Ana Schulz, Gutierrez's only daughter, took a picture of both of m. In foreground, his far, with Risueña gaze and his mustache Nietzschean. A few steps back, out of focus, Roberto, a spot of which you can only guess his head round and bald.

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  • Spy stuff. by L. R. AIZPEOLEA

From this failed image is born to move skin, film in which Ana Schulz and Cristóbal Fernandez try to understand — and compose — keys of friendship between Gutierrez, a Marxist, educated and erudite engineer, and Roberto, an agent of former Superior center of Defense Information (CESID) that one day, under false identity, infiltrated ir lives. On fixed plane of that photo Schulz's voiceover begins narration of this story: "Roberto had just been granted parole and my far and he were retaking ir friendship. I haven't seen him in 20 years since he disappeared. And I didn't understand what that man was doing re again with my far. "

Juan Gutiérrez, and out of focus, Roberto Flórez. ANA SCHULZ

Moving skin will be released next August at Locarno Festival. An unclassifiable film, which moves gender as it moves forward. Apparently a political and familiar documentary, in background, many or things, including a thriller about spies, a letter of unconditional love of a daughter to her far, a reflection on treachery in bowels of Basque conflict and a history of friendship Marked by an unfathomable mystery. "From need to understand that friendship is born this film," says voice-over of Schulz.

"We have been filming for four years," explains Cristóbal Fernández, a tape editor like Mimosas, by Oliver Laxe. "In that first picture I already wanted to put Roberto behind my far and out of focus because for me he was always a mystery. When we interviewed Roberto for first time we were clear that we had to make film. I needed to understand that strong friendship. It was a mixture of curiosity and fascination for Roberto, a man accustomed to always changing his face. "

The film would have few characters, Juan Gutiérrez, his wife, German activist Frauke Schulz-Utermöhl and Roberto. Of backdrop, some of hardest years of Basque conflict. But filming soon became a road of obstacles, and restlessness began to seize directors. "We started to have problems. That's when we decided to turn camera to film what was happening to us, a thriller in which we felt watched and spied. I guess we were kids playing spies, but playing for real, " directors point.

Although film protects its identity, Roberto is Roberto Flórez, sentenced in 2010 by Provincial Court of Madrid to 12 years in prison accused of selling information to Russia. His trial was first in democracy for a crime of treason. When that story jumped to news, Juan Gutiérrez and spy had been without seeing for more than ten years. Born in Asturias, an orphan of far and mor, Flórez was adopted by an uncle of his Guardia Civil. He came in very young in body. "Roberto was 20 years old when he appeared in Gernika Gogoratuz as a journalist who worked in a news agency, that justified that neir his articles nor his signature was published, which was not true," recalls Gutierrez.

The friendship between two men was forged during those years. The spy became Gutierrez's right hand and, as his daughter recalls, his presence was constant, also in house. His arrival in Gernika Gogoratuz had coincided with growing international prominence of Gutierrez, who n and now defends a discourse of peace away from duality between victors and vanquished. In 1991 Gutierrez had organized in United States an unusual meeting of ten days of coexistence between politicians of all Basque parties. That initiative didn't like it. In 1998, already with Jaime Mayor Oreja (PP) in front of Ministry for Interior, a series of leaks erased from political board to mediator. A few months before infiltrated spy had vanished from ir lives. Schulz has a hard time not seeing a connection between two events.

Enlarge Photo The directors of ' Moltar de Piel ', Ana Schulz and Cristóbal Fernández, in Madrid. VÍCTOR SAINZ

"To me it's schematic to divide people between good and bad. Here re is no final judgement with good ones on right and bad ones on left, "says far. "That is an exercise of power, not of kindness. And besides, who has that power? We all do good and bad things. In list of Schindler, film of Steven Spielberg, we find a corrupter and corrupter but that does something good and selflessly. It's just an example. I've never rummaged much in Roberto, even though I know you have dark areas. In addition, Roberto and I have regained our friendship and ir new skin change proves that it has understood that secret services are necessary not to destroy enemy but to reach agreements that meet basic needs of all parties to conflict ".

Gutierrez is only concerned about one thing: "I don't want it to look like Roberto and I have an obsessive friendship because it isn't. There's no Stockholm syndrome here. " Both he and Exagent asked to control film's edition. There was no way. "It was hard for me to understand, and I still don't understand it at all, and I don't think Roberto does," he says.

On his LinkedIn page, Roberto Flórez appears as a mediator and consultant in conflict management. According to Gutiérrez, his work with Bolivian indigenous groups is "interesting". The ex-spy responds to this newspaper's call to say he doesn't want to say anything. "I'm just not going to talk about movie in media. Especially since I haven't spoken to Anne yet. " When asked about his relationship with Juan Gutiérrez he replies: "He is a very important person in my life. He is my friend and our friendship is deep and genuine, regardless of external vicissitudes. " A mentor, a paternal figure? He laughs. "I'm not going to talk about my friendship with John. Luck and successes. "

"Roberto doesn't want to know anything about film, even though we've always tried to protect him," said Cristóbal Fernandez and Ana Schulz. "They keep seeing each or because my far defends that he bet on him and believes in aunticity of his friendship. My far always says that you will never quite know or, nor a daughter or a couple; We are all ignota land and pretend opposite is childish. "

Flórez, accused as alleged informer of poisoned Russian

Last March Times pointed out Roberto Flórez as alleged informer of Russian spy Sergei Skripal, poisoned with traces of Novichok nervous agent with his daughter Yulia in a restaurant in Salisbury, south of England. "The Times linked me to denunciation of Skripal and I refer to communiqué that issued," he replies in reference to a note n issued and in ensuring "a scapegoat" of British secret services. Or means, however, do not bind Flórez to facts.

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  • Spy stuff. by L. R. AIZPEOLEA


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