Jesus Gil

Politician & businessman (1933 - 2004)

Jesús Gil y Gil was born on March 11th, 1933, in Burgo de Osma, Soria. He attended university where he studied Economics and Veterinary medicine.

Jesus Gil began his working life as a car salesman, but soon moved into property development. In 1969, aged 36 he built a complex called  'Los Angeles' in San Rafael (Segovia), which was to land him in jail for the first time. Before the cement had time to set, 700 people were eating in the restaurant attached to the complex. The roof fell in and 58 people died with many more seriously injured. Gil had been dining in the restaurant at the time and had left for a few minutes to show a plot to a potential buyer. He was fined 400,000 pesetas and jailed for 18 months when Franco pardoned him.

Gil has always professed a passion for football. When he was younger he played as central defence in a local amateur team and his subsequent friendship with Vicente Calderón helped him to establish the official Athletic Directive over a four-month period. On 26th June 1987, he was elected President of the Athletic Club of Madrid. During his presidency, the club won the following titles: Copa de S.M. El Rey 1991, 92 and 96.Campeonato Nacional de Liga 1996, plus various seasonal trophies.

In 1984 Jesús Gil moved to Marbella where he worked the construction and development. On 15th June 1991 he formed the Grupo Independiente Liberal (GIL) party and was elected mayor of Marbella on 1st September 1995. 

Jesus Gil lead a campaign to clean up Marbella, paint the town blue and white, promote Marbella nationally and internationally. Gil was then elected President of the Mancomunidad de Municipios de la Costa del Sol Occidental (Group of Costa del Sol municipalitesand his GIL party fielded candidates in most of the Costa del Sol municipalities plus Ceuta and Melilla.

In January 1999 he was remanded in jail for embezzlement, perversion of justice and falsification of public documents. He was later released on ill health grounds, then granted bail. He won the 1999 local elections in Marbella but the party had mixed results in the other municipalities.

In 2002 under the 'football shirt case' his was disqualified from holding public office for 28 years for diverting 450m pesetas (20m euro) from Marbella Town Hall to Althletico Madrid. He was thus forced forced to step down as Mayor of Marbella. In spite of this he remained popular in Marbella.

He was suceed as Mayor by his teniente de alcalde (vice-mayor) Julian Muñoz (GIL party) but ended up having a major slanging match with him on a live television show. 

He was central Caso Malaya was one of the largest corruption scandals in the history of Spain it was based on complex reclasification of building land in Marbella and bribes from constructors. Gill died of natural causes in 2003 before the case came to court. Julián Muñoz and Marbella/Gill's advisor, Juan Antonio Roca, we both imprisoned (amongst others) for 17 and 7 years respectively.

Gil was married to Maria de los Angeles Marin Cobo. His son was mayor of neighbouring Estepona from 1995 until 1999.

Jesus Gil was an excellent orator and is credited with many unusual quotations:

On petty crime
"For the delinquents, the stick. For the prostitutes, the door."

On politicians
"Politics is a shelter for incompetents. I wouldn't have them as bellboys in my company."

Living in Andalucia