An infamous colonel was in charge of the Gendarmerie forces (see footnote) at the site of the attack of Romanian nationalists on the Úz valley Austro-Hungarian military graveyard, Romanian press reports.
Colonel Sebastian Cucoș was the commander of the Gendarmerie last August when the force brutally dispersed an anti-government demonstration, severely injuring dozens of protesters. As a result, he was demoted to deputy commander and is currently under investigation in the incident. He is widely believed, Romanian press also reported, to be the right-hand man of Minister of Interior Carmen Dan.
Sebastian Cucoș during the Úz valley cemetery attack (video capture)
During the Úz valley incident, the Gendarmerie did not prevent violent Romanian nationalists from breaking into the graveyard and tearing down its gate, but subsequently proceeded to remove the ethnic Hungarians who had earlier formed a picket in silent prayer to defend the graves of their ancestors.
NOTE: The Romanian Gendarmerie is one of the country’s two law enforcement agencies. Unlike the police, which is a civilian organization, the Gendarmerie is a military one, charged with riot control, policing mountainous areas, Black Sea resorts and counter-terrorism activities. The Police force has an official head count of 50,000 and the Gendarmerie 28,000, but neither of them are fully staffed.
Title image: Sebastian Cucoș during the Úz valley cemetery attack (video capture)