5 Mar, 2024 @ 11:40
1 min read

‘Wolf Pack’ victim in Spain is given a new voice in hard-hitting Netflix documentary that chronicles the historic gang-rape trial

Protest After 'la Manada' Granted Bail In Spain
June 22, 2018 - Madrid, Spain - Demonstrators shout slogans and hold placard during a after a court ordered the release on bail of 'La Manada' (Wolf Pack) in Madrid on 22nd June, 2018... The Navarre Regional Court decided to provisionally release five men 'La Manada' (Wolf Pack) who were sentenced in April to nine years in prison for sexually abusing a young woman at Pamplona's bull-running festival in Madrid on 22nd June, 2018. (Credit Image: © Juan Carlos Lucas/NurPhoto via ZUMA Press)

A NEW Netflix documentary will shed more light on the shocking ‘La Manada’ – wolfpack – gang-rape trial in Spain that inspired widespread public anger and protests.

You Are Not Alone: Fighting the Wolf Pack, directed by Emmy Award-winning duo Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar, explores the defining case in the country’s #MeToo moment which led to a reinterpretation of rape under Spanish law.

Using key testimonies, the documentary chronicles the gang-rape of an 18-year old woman at the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona by a group of five men in the early hours of July 7, 2016.

San Fermin Running Of The Bulls Enters Its Last Day
The gang-rape occurred at the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona. Credit: Cordon Press

The five men, including a member of the Guardia Civil and another from the Spanish army in Sevilla, filmed themselves repeatedly penetrating the victim orally, vaginally and anally in the vestibule of an apartment building.

However, the group, known as ‘La Manada’ or wolfpack after the Whatsapp group in which they circulated the rape video, were initially acquited of rape and instead found guilty of the lesser crime of sexual abuse after the prosecution were unable to prove the use of violence against the female victim. 

Spanish law indicated that the men had to use violence in order to coerce the woman for the crime to be categorised as sexual assault, which includes rape.

The decision sparked popular fury and a wave of feminist protests against sexual assault laws in Spain.

Critics also felt that Spanish law placed undue stress on the victim – investigators suggested that the victim going on a brief holiday with family and friends was proof that she was not suffering trauma following the gang-rape.

One of the judges concluded that all he could see in the videos was “an atmosphere of revelry and joy”.

Protest After 'la Manada' Granted Bail In Spain
The original court decision sparked a wave of feminist protests in Spain. Credit: Cordon Press

An additional leaked video showed the perpetrators touching another unresponsive girl in a separate incident two months earlier

In 2019, the Supreme Court of Spain upgraded the initial convictions of sexual abuse to sexual assault, handing out 15-year prison sentences for each member of the quintet. 

Outcry from the case led to a reinterpretation of rape under Spanish law.

The ‘solo sí es sí’ – ‘only yes means yes’ – law means defendants have to prove that sexual consent was given by the plaintiff, with sexual contact without consent treated as sexual assault, regardless of whether violence or intimidation was used.

The documentary is available on streaming platform Netflix now.

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Ben Pawlowski

Ben joined the Olive Press in January 2024 after a four-month stint teaching English in Paraguay. He loves the adrenaline rush of a breaking news story and the tireless work required to uncover an eye-opening exclusive. He is currently based in Barcelona from where he covers the city, the wider Catalunya region, and the north of Spain. Send tips to [email protected]

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