The kidnapping last Tuesday of Vanessa Romero, a socialist councilor from Maracena (Granada, 22,000 inhabitants), by the ex-boyfriend of the current mayoress, Berta Linares, also from the PSOE, has also become a political and municipal management issue. This Friday, the mayoress has instructed her staff to send to the Prosecutor’s Office all the files in the Urban Planning area from 2007 to date. She has done so after the mayor linked her kidnapping with alleged municipal irregularities. The referral to the public ministry affects 15 years of management involving the previous mayor, Noel López, who left office in 2022 to become Organization Secretary of the Andalusian PSOE. He has also commissioned what he has called a “criminal audit” and for this he has commissioned – or has announced that he will do so – an external legal team to review these and other files and issue a report on whether or not they contain illegalities. Meanwhile, the duty court will not resolve the situation of the detainee until this afternoon. The cause is declared secret.
In the field of investigation, the municipal architect was called to testify on Thursday, as reported by Radio Granada Cadena SER and confirmed by this newspaper, before the judicial police. In turn, the researchers sent a request to the City Council to “safeguard the files corresponding to intervention, secretary and urban planning and contracting,” sources from the Maracena City Council have reported.
According to sources familiar with the case, Romero had been driving documentation in her car for weeks with data that, according to her, demonstrate alleged irregularities in the City Council. His relatives, however, have said these days that he had no intention of filing any complaint with them. It was the events on Tuesday that have put these papers in the hands of the Civil Guard, which is now investigating them to try to find out the reasons for what happened.
Those relatives have also explained that the alleged irregularities do not refer exclusively to Linares’s period as mayor -from July 2022 until now-, but to a time ago, in which Noel López directed the consistory. Within the political aspect of these events, the mayoress has called an extraordinary plenary session for next Wednesday, April 1. Actually, this is a request that the municipal group of the PP had previously made.
Noel López has shown his peace of mind about what could result from the analysis of these documents, reports Lourdes Lucio. “I have complete and absolute tranquility for the management of Maracena in this period and in mine. It has been scrupulous and transparent. There has been no problem over the years and, therefore, there is nothing to assess and transfer there. Let justice do its job as quickly as possible and let the State Security Forces and Bodies investigate.” For López, mayor for more than 15 years and with four elections won, “Maracena has always acted with transparency and legality and, therefore, there is no concern, neither in Urban Planning nor in anything else. My concern is because of what has happened, because of the kidnapping. I can not explain. This is very surreal.” Instead, he says: “I am surprised and worried about Vanesa and Berta. I have stayed in shock for the kidnapping. It is an unfortunate fact.” From the Andalusian PSOE, on the other hand, they have reported that López, has transferred to the general secretary, Juan Espadas, “his absolute tranquility for his management and, of course, all the collaboration so that they investigate what has to be investigated” .
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Days after the event, it has already been verified that the mayoress and the councilor did not have any treatment beyond what is required by good education. They greeted each other and little else, all sources have confirmed. Berta Linares, on the other hand, had already confirmed that she would not be on the lists for the next municipal elections on May 28 of this year. The deputy spokesman for the government team, Antonio García Leiva, explained in a statement that he understands “Romero’s nervousness about not going on the lists, but that this is no excuse to question the work of so many years.”
Vanessa Romero was illegally detained on Tuesday morning after leaving her children at school, a center on the outskirts of the neighboring town of Atarfe. There, Pedro Gómez, 44, asked him to take him to a gas station. Shortly after getting into her vehicle, she threatened with a gun that turned out to be a fake, and put a bridle on it. On her hands and feet and he mounted her in the trunk. From there they went to Maracena, 20 kilometers from her, where he left her car with her inside it in a place that Gómez had rented. He went back to Maracena to buy more material at a hardware store: a meat knife and a roll of duct tape. From there, he returned to the place of detention in Armilla but the councilor had already managed to get out of the car kicking the rear seats and also from the premises and she would already be being attended by the police. Hours later, around five in the afternoon, the Civil Guard detained him in Maracena. Since then, the councilor has testified up to three times.
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