Pedro Hernández Mateo

This week, yet another politician was convicted of criminal offences, former head of the Partido Popular in Castellón, Carlos Fabra, sentenced to 4 years in prison for tax fraud, stating that he has “no fear of going to prison”, the story of another convict, former Torrevieja Mayor Pedro Hernández Mateo, rumbles on.

After being sentenced to 3 years in prison by every level of the judicial system, he narrowly avoided going to prison as a petition for clemency was launched. That petition is now pending, and he still remains free until it is resolved.

This week, the details of the support for his campaign to remain free were published, revealing the names of his allies who want to see him remain free and unpunished.

A number of deputies of the Valencia parliament we know have signed, as have quite a few of the local PP group, with the current Mayor, Eduardo Dólon, top of the list, along with his deputy, Joaquín Albaladejo Martínez. However, what is noticeable is that only 8 of the 15 councillors who make up the municipal government team are listed as supporters of freedom. Perhaps more surprising is the addition of two psoe members, the former councillor María-Luisa Zafra Mercader, and former group secretary Marta Zafra Mercader.

Amidst claims that there were threats of the withdrawal of subsidy and grants from the town hall, a number of social groups are listed, including church groups, those who look out for the health of residents, including cancer, mental health, Alzheimer’s, alcohol and diabetes, immigration groups, worker´s associations from agriculture and fishing, sports, television companies and even the post office have all lent their support.

There are also 2,334 citizens who put their names to the petition as individuals, all presented by the lawyer representing the case, Vicente Grima Lizandra.

However, as the Los Verdes, who brought the case to light in the first place, explained, with a total of 2,476 signatures submitted, that figure represents only 2% of the census count for Torrevieja, and is less than 1% of all usual residents. They also believe that had the petition been levied without the pressure or at the expense of losing grants, subsidies or work, they are sure it would have been much less.

The Los Verdes had also responded with their own campaign on the petition website, which, although still gaining support, at the most recent count had 4,041 individuals who want to see the disgraced politician incarcerated, well on its way to being double those who wish to see him remain free.

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