Spain dispatches Civil Guard ahead of Catalan vote

The Spanish government has not specified what legal consequences Catalan leaders, poll workers or voters might face Sunday, when they go to vote. But Madrid has reportedly readied thousands of Civil Guard officers to travel to Catalonia this weekend.

Spain’s northeastern region of Catalonia vowed Tuesday to defy both the central government and the country’s highest court and proceed with a much-disputed weekend vote on whether to secede from Spain.

Hours earlier, Spain’s Constitutional Court ordered Catalonia to freeze its plans for an independence vote, scheduled for Sunday. It was the second time the court issued an order siding with Madrid, which considers any Catalan independence vote illegal.

But Catalan leaders said they would not back down.

“Everything is all set for Nov. 9,” Francesc Homs, a spokesman for the Catalan regional government, said at a news conference. “We are maintaining our participatory process. We couldn’t say this any clearer — and we’re doing so regardless of the consequences.

The presence of military convoys on the roads in Catalonia has been steady throughout the day.

Military convoys on the roads to Lleida and Zaragoza and also Panadella and Low Llobreta and Diagonal were noted, with several military helicopters flying sorties over certain Catalan regions.