Costa del Sol News - Archive 31st May 2001

Regional News, week ending Friday 25th May 2001


A Seville man, MTV has been sentenced to six years in jail in Puerto Rico for passing himself off as a priest, and carrying out at least 50 religious ceremonies fraudulently in Seville. At the time of his deportation to Puerto Rico, he had charges of falsifying a nomina, and carrying out a variety of bank frauds. The 46 year old man was allowed close access to prishes and monasteries due to his knowledge of religious art, in which he is considered a world expert.


The Civil Guard officer and the director of a home in Villamanrique de la Condesa in Seville have been charged with defrauding a group of elderly people. The two face a total of nine years in prison, with 11 years disqualification from work , for stealing 11 million pesetas from the old people by telling that that the residence was to be sold, and taking away their savings books.


The Environment department of the European Commission has opened sanctions against Spain because the Junta de andalucia has broken the law over experimentation on animals, according to Asanda, the andaluz association for the defence of animals. The Junta's transgression came with regard to experimentation on animals for scientific reasons according to Asanda. Proceedings began in October 1999 when Asanda denounced serious irregularities in experimentation centres in universities and hopsitals in Andalucia before the European Union.


A Seville court has sentenced a man to six months in prison for falsifying documents to try and obtain a place for his son in a religious school. The man had faked a work contract between his wife and a business situated in the school catchment area, to try and get the points required by the Education Department to favour his child getting a place.


The Agriculture minister Miguel Arias Cañete said yesterday that "reflection" was called for about the "paradox"of demand for immigrant workers such as in Almeria when there was also heavy unemployment in the agricultural sector. His remarks came after the refusal of Almerian mayors to grant land for the building of rental homes for immigrant workers, and cited this as a possible reason for the scarcity of future workers. He added that the Immigration Law was quite clear, stating that acceptable homes must be provided by anyone employing immigrants, and said that if Almeria wished to benefit from these workers, the mayors would have to grant the ground.

And on the subject of the lack of a fishing agreement with Morocco, Cañete announced yesterday that he would shortly be going to Algeria to try and get agreement that some of those affected by fishing problem could fish in its waters. Speaking at an agricultural fair in Ronda yesterday, he explained that the waters round Algeria and Tunisia were sufficiently mature for Spanish trawlers to exploit.


A hospital orderly in Jerez died yesterday after swallowing nearly a litre of sulphonamide. Prior to the incident he had been trying to kill his ex -wife with a screwdriver in the entrance of the hospital where the both worked. The died man was 50 year old Juan C. His wife was treated for her injuries and is now considered to be out of danger.


Police are investigating the death of a young Moroccan found in a rubbish container in an industrial estate in Seville on Sunday. A council cleaner made the grim discovery, finding the man still bleeding from a wound in his side. The dead man is thought to have been between 25 and 30 years old, appeared to have no papers and had previous convictions for drug trafficking. First theories are that the murder was a possible settling of scores.


The court in Granada has ordered ABR, the 78 year old man accused of murdering his wife in Huetor Vega last week, into prison. The move came despite a medical examination revealing that the man suffers from Alzheimer's disease. The man´s 72 year old wife, Carmen Ortega was found dead in the swimming pool at their home, alongside the body of the family dog. A clinical report said that the man´s mental faculties had deteriorated to such a point that he was no longer master of his actions, and recommended against his being put into prison.


Two men have been arrested in Seville in connection with the kidnap of a 20 year old Swedish student. 42 year old taxi driver Daniel HT and 24 year old Israeli Mohamed WM were charged with illegal detention, robbery with violence, intimidation and assault. The Israeli has already been arrested 34 times, and is known to use at least 19 different identities. The kidnapping happened last March when the student was picked up from the airport by Daniel HT, and taken to the Murillo district of Seville. The student was then made to get out of the car, and taken to a flat where he was tied up, beaten and threatened with a knife. A 31 year old woman known as Maleni also took part in the attack.


A drug addict couple from La Linea have been found guilty of murdering their five month old baby. Manuel Hidalgo Cerezo has been sentenced to 20 years and five months for battering the infant to death, while the child´s mother, Josefa Mudarra Serrano has been sentenced to eight years for not preventing the attack, and participating in it. The Audiencia of Cadiz heard how domestic violence was commonplace in the home.


A woman has denounced the Baza hospital in Granada for the death of her teenage daughter. Isabel Navarro says that the hospital misdiagnosed her daughter's condition, saying that she had anorexia, when in fact she was suffering from a brain tumour. The situation developed in April last year when Raquel Migues, aged 15 began to develop intense headaches, affecting her vision. Her mother claims the hospital told her the girl was suffering from anorexia and should be taken to a centre for mental health. In the follwoing three months, the girl was taken to casualty five times suffering from violent headaches and vomiting, but was never given any tests. It wasn´t until the family moved to Lanzarote in June that the correct diagnosis was made, by which time it was too late, and the girl died in July.


The collective of southern bishops yesterday accused the Junta de Andalucia of attempting to reduce private education and to cut down the freedom of parents to choose the education they want for their children. The bishops criticised the loss of 146 secondary education schools lost between 1997 and 2000, and the refusal of the Junta to cover 100% of demand for nursery education in the region.


The Junta de Andalucia has given its approval to the Plan drawn up for the future of fishing in the region. Its intention is to bring economic diversification to areas which have lost out since the failure of Spain and Morocco to reach agreement over fishing. A budget of over 50 thousand million pesetas will be earmarked for the task, 75% of it coming from the EU. The money will finance new businesses, experimental fishing and aquaculture, the modification of certain boats to fish in new waters, and the scrapping of boats unable to be modified.

Meanwhile the European Fishing commissioner Franz Fischler has said he will look at a demand by Spain to modify the norms of the Fishery Finance body, the IFOP, to try and find a way forward for the part of the andaluz fleet which has been unable to fish since talks between Spain and Morocco broke down last month. A spokesman said yesterday however that the executive had not yet given its reply to spain over the restructuring proposals it presented before the EU last week.


The budget for social welfare has been announced for Andalucia for 2001 to 2004. 885 thousand million pesetas have been earmarked for the region in an agreement signed by the Andaluz government and the trade unions CCOO and UGT. The money will go towards boosting employment and developing stability in the work place, also to encouraging small businesses, new entrepreneurs and helping groups which are currently disadvantaged in the workplace, like young people, women and those with handicaps. A proportion of the money will also go towards helping small businesses with new technology and helping various key sectors in the region like agriculture, fishing, mining, energy production and tourism.


The Confederation of Businesses in Granada agreed yesterday to defend the independence of La General bank of Granada in any moves to merge with another savings bank. In making their stand the Granaino businessmen are rejecting a propsal by their equivalents in Cordoba and Jaen to create a new bank to be called the Caja del Interior de Andalucia, which would bring together Cajarsur, the Caja Provincial de Jaen and La General. The Granadan position has been fully supported across the political parties and trade unions of the area. A spokesman said that there would be no benefit to Granada in such a move because there was uncertainty over the figures put forward by CajaSur, among other things.


A court in Seville has sentenced a man who sexually abused his 14 year old daughter to 4 years imprisonment. The case has made history because the victim, her mother and sisters gave evidence by videoconference from Palma in Mallorca, where they live. The court also imposed a 2 million peseta fine on his daughter, and has forbidden him from going within a kilometer of the girl for the next four years.


A study has shown that the inhabitants of Huelva capital think that the environmental state of the city is very poor and they blame the 14 industries which make up Polo quimico, situated in the outskirts of the city. Huelvans say they are most concerned about air and water pollution, more so than unemployment or citizen´s safety. The exhaustive study was carried out by the Council for Scientific Investigations of the Junta de andalucia. The study revealed that the Polo Quimico businesses had scant credibility among the Huelva populace. The outcome of the study has been that the CCOO and UGT trade unions want to start a series of talks with the businesses to oblige the administrations to supply better environmental information to residents.


A Moroccan man died in the early hours of yesterday on board a pneumatic launch trying to cross the Strait. He was part of a group of 55 people on board the 7 meter craft, and was found drowned inside the vessel which had been taking in water. Guardia Civil intercepted the boat six miles off the Punta Camarinal. The surviving immigrants were brought ashore, where most had to be treated for exhaustion, burns and other injuries. Two had to be taken to hospital in Cadiz, while the rest were attended in the Health Centre in Barbate. A further five paperless Moroccans were detained yesterday on the Barbate coast, while a Moroccan with residency papers and domiciled in Valencia was arrested for giving them a lift.


The Andaluz parliament yesterday approved the presentation of a proposal by the Junta de Andalucia to permit a so called passive euthanasia law. This would permit terminal patients to make decisions about their own lives and would also permit the placing of a clause in wills reflecting a person´s wishes about what is happen in the case of a terminal illness. The initiative has cross-party support, apart from that of the PP-A.


Meanwhile, the Andaluz parliament rejected a request for the creation of a commission to the investigate the Hospital de Poniente in Almeria. The PP had made the request based on 32 denuncias placed by workers and patients about alleged irregularities. PP deputy Esperanza Oña said that the recent case where the hospital refused to operate on an immigrant worker was the tip of the iceberg, calling the hospital the least humane in Spain.


A guardia civil killed his wife with 5 shots from his regulation pistol in Cordoba late on Wednesday night. The shooting happened in front of the couples two children and after a heated argument. The alleged murderer is 36 year old Juan Julio Gomez Jimenez, who was in divorce proceedings with his 33 year old wife, Antonia Sanchez Muñoz. And in Jaen yesterday a man was arrested in connection with the death of his live-in partner 38 year old FMR. The woman´s 18 year old daughter found her dead with signs of strangulation when she returned home at midday.


The number of tourists staying in Andalucia has seen an increase of 3.89% in the first quarter of this year compared with figures last year. The increase is accounted for mainly by Spaniards. During Semana santa, the influx of international tourists dropped by 8%, while the number of tourists from elsewhere in Spain grew by 16.2%. The Tourism Department has predicted that the months of may, June and July will see an average occupancy of 64.6% across the region.


The Network of Protected Natural Spaces in Andalucia has presented its strategy to the Environment Department to manage at least half of the natural areas as an "integrated entity." Director general of the organisation, Hermelindo Castro said one of the objectives of the plan is the break down the isolation of over one hundred protected spaces, amounting to some 18% of Andalucia, through connecting green corridors.


Meanwhile, Ecologists in Action have demanded access to a report commissioned by the socialist party of Andalucia from the Health Department, which apparently explains the link between illnesses like leukaemia, male and female infertility and miscarriages with the use of pesticides used in intensive agriculture. The group said that the use of such chemicals is having serious consequences on the human population who cannot get anything done about it due to loopholes in the existing law.

News Archive from Andalucia