The former mayor of Torrevieja, Pedro Hernández Mateo, entered the prison of his choice on Wednesday, one day before the time limit set on his freedom was reached.
Hernández Mateo entered the Centro Penitenciario Murcia II, located in Campos del Río, to begin his three year sentence which he was given in November of 2012. He must now serve at least 12 months before an appeal for parole can be considered, although it is likely that he will be freed 6 months after that, having served half of the sentence, depending on the outcome of other cases against him.
Having been found guilty at every level of the judicial appeals process, his last hope lay with the government granting clemency. That hope was dashed when it was refused, thus the courts ruled that he must enter prison before the 31st of July. The prison he chose to serve his time was opened in 2011 and has 1,000 cells. It is one of the closest prisons to Torrevieja, although it was first thought he may have chosen Villena, which is also nearby.
Meanwhile, the political opposition groups in Torrevieja believe that the imprisonment of the former mayor, who was at the head of the municipality for 23 years, reflects the facts that the population are tired of corruption in politics and that justice must be equal, as well as the urgent need for politicians to be clean and act in an exemplary manner.
José Hurtado, from the Los Verdes green party of Torrevieja, argued that “justice must be equal for all” and that “society demands righteousness”, whereas politicians must be “exemplary”.
Head of the local PSOE socialist group, Ángel Sáez, said that, “the local PP, with its mayor Eduardo Dolón at the head, was mobilized to seek a pardon for Hernández Mateo and resorted even to associations, but only got 2,000 signatures”, which he believes shows that the majority of the population are “tired of corrupt behavior”.
Domingo Soler from the alternative APTCe group pointed out that he leads a new generation of politicians calling for a “regeneration” of the PP in Torrevieja, a fact which led to him being expelled and forming his own party. Years later, Soler now believes that he “was right” in his opinions for a need to start afresh with the politics of Torrevieja.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/44467/