Real-Life Emilio In ‘See You In Another Life’: Where Is Madrid Bomber Now?


See You in Another Life is based on a book written by Manuel Jabois, where he gives us an insider’s account of what actually led to the Madrid bombings of 2004, which is called the biggest terrorist operation on European soil. The story is narrated from the perspective of Gabriel Montoya Vidal Baby, who got involved in the scheme of things when he was 15 years old. Baby indulged in all sorts of illicit activities, but things took a rather grave turn when he met a man called Jose Emilio Suarez Trashorras, whom he considered to be a very good friend and confidant until he got to know about his real intentions. The character of Emilio is inspired by a real-life person who played an active role in the Madrid bombings and through whom the terrorists procured the explosives they needed. A lot of things have been changed in the series when it comes to Emilio’s character, but the crux has been kept intact. So let’s find out what kind of man Emilio was and where he is as of now. 

The moment we saw Emilio in See You in Another Life, he seemed like a man who, firstly, had ulterior motives and, secondly, couldn’t be trusted at all. But he was extremely nice to Baby and his best friend, Koala. He treated these boys well, gave them money, and gave them kief (a concentrated portion of cannabis plant) so that they could sell it and earn some money for themselves and their families. Baby was going through a very bad phase in his life at that point in time, and he needed someone like Emilio who could show him the way. Baby had accepted his fate, and he knew that if he had to make a livelihood, he would have to enter the crime world.

Things were fine until Emilio met Antonio Toro, and from that day on, his life changed forever. Emilio married Toro’s sister, and then, through him, he got introduced to Rafa Zouhir, a man whom Toro had met in prison. Rafa said that a few of his North African friends needed dynamite, and Toro knew that his brother-in-law had access to it. This was another fascinating thing that Emilio had access to—such huge amounts of dynamite. He was called the miner, as not only him but his father, too, used to work in the mines. Emilio, due to mental health issues, took a nearly full retirement, though he still got a pension from the state-owned mining industry. Emilio was asked to procure around 600 kilos of dynamite, and surprisingly, he had no doubts about whether he would be able to arrange it or not.

The biggest question that was asked during his trial was whether he knew about the intentions of the jihadists or not. Emilio might have had schizophrenia, but he was a shrewd manipulator, and he knew how to make others work for his own benefit. We saw how he forced those two innocent boys to deliver the consignment to the Moroccans, and then he didn’t even pay them as he had promised. Emilio knew very well what he was doing, and I believe he was just pretending to be naive and ignorant of the larger scheme of things. It was common sense that if a group was asking for such a huge amount of dynamite, then they were going to indulge in some terrorist activity where a lot of people were going to lose their lives. Emilio talked to Baby about certain things, which made the latter also realize that he was just pretending to be ignorant, though in reality, he knew what he had signed up for. Emilio was a very untrustworthy and unpredictable man, and nobody knew how he was going to act out the very next moment. Baby felt really hurt when Emilio was caught and gave his testimony in court. Firstly, he made self-contradictory statements, and a lot of times, it felt like he tried to incriminate Baby. The teenager was not saying anything against the man because he did consider him to be a very good friend, but after a point in time, things changed, and the former decided to speak the truth. Maybe Baby would have gotten to know what he said, and he would have realized that Emilio was not the friend he thought him to be. 

Emilio was given life imprisonment for his involvement in the 2004 Madrid bombings, i.e., 40 years behind bars. The man had appealed to the court to provide him with better facilities, as he was suffering from mental health issues. I believe Emilio was dealt with in the right manner by the court of law because that man not only caused the deaths of so many people but also spoiled the lives of young minds like Baby, who could have done so many things. Koala was smart enough not to adhere to his orders, as otherwise, he would have also been out behind bars. Emilio’s judgment was passed in 2007, and so he is going to be in prison till the mid-2040s if he does not get parole before that. 

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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