The man dubbed "Robin Hood of the banks" who took out over half a million euro worth of bank loans with no intention of repaying them has broken his silence. Activist Enric Duran has been in hiding for more than a year following court cases in Spain.
"What could be better than robbing the ones who rob us and distributing the money among the groups which are denouncing this situation and building alternatives?" Duran said in an interview to the Guardian newspaper.
He has been hiding for 14 months, communicating with its followers via the internet.
"I'm proud of this action," he said from his undisclosed location. The money, he said, had created opportunities. "It generated a movement that allowed us to push forward with the construction of alternatives [to capitalism]. And it allowed us to build a powerful network that groups together these initiatives."
From 2006 until 2008, Duran took out 68 commercial and personal loans from 39 banks in Spain and gave the money to social activities, like financing conferences against capitalism and providing cameras for an alternative TV channel.
In 2009 he was arrested in Spain after being accused by 6 banks of non-repayment. By that time the former table tennis coach owed a substantial sum after applying for loans under the name of a false television production company. "Then I managed to get a lot.€492,000 to be exact.”
After spending 2 months in a jail Duran was freed on 50,000 euro bail in February 2013 to face trial. After being convicted he decided to abscond rather than face eight years behind bars.
"I don't see the legitimacy of a judicial system based on authority, because I don't recognize its authority," he said.
Duran has not stopped working from a distance on the development of the Catalan Integral Cooperative, a transitional initiative for social transformation from below, through self-management, self-organization and networking.