News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
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Tragic Madrid music fest claims fifth victimArena was hugely overcrowded with ticket count 58% above capacity
By Oliver McIntyre
The tragic stampede at a Halloween night music fest in Madrid claimed another victim last week as a fifth woman died from her injuries after nearly a month in hospital.
María Teresa Alonso, 20, had been in critical condition since being crushed in a pile-up of people in the Madrid Arena pavilion, which investigations have now revealed was severely overcrowded during the event.
The four other fatal victims were all teenage girls, three of them 18 and the other 17.
It was revealed last week that the eight ticket boxes found by police in a storage annex to the arena were found to contain a total of 16,791 tickets, 58 per cent more than the maximum capacity of the arena for such events. The company that organised the event, DivierTT SA, had told authorities it sold only 9,650 tickets.
Crackdown on UK sex offenders working abroadNew initiative launched in Spain by UK authorities
By Dave Jamieson
A NEW international initiative to prevent UK sex offenders travelling to other countries and gaining access to children through teaching or volunteering roles was launched in Spain last week.
Specialist Spanish officers tackling child sexual abuse have shared their expertise and experience of combating this crime with staff from the UK's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) during a two-day law enforcement workshop, which included the launch of the International Child Protection Certificate.
The certificate is a new police check for UK nationals who are travelling and working overseas, and will help identify and screen out those who are unsuitable to be working with children.
The CEOP has found that some international schools, charities and other agencies overseas do not currently have access to the same level of police checks available to organisations in the UK. This sometimes enables a sex offender to gain positions of trust with children.
The UK authorities say that there is clear evidence to suggest that serious sex offenders who are known to them will often seek out opportunities to work or volunteer abroad. In many instances, this will be through teaching roles but could equally be through other occupations such as charity worker, orphanage worker or as a children's home worker.
Artefacts from ‘Andalucía's Pompeii' go on displayArchaeology site in Córdoba shows civilisation from 2,000 BC to 16th century
By David Eade
THE ITEMS had lain permanently buried beneath the Córdoba countryside over centuries. However now archaeologists have recovered them from the secret location at Torreparedones. The experts have hailed the artefacts as being the Pompeii of Spain.
They were unearthed at a high point in the countryside some 579.6 metres above sea level in the municipality of Baena. Researchers have found that a community lived there from 2,000 years before Christ up to the 16th century.
The municipal archaeologist in Baena, José Antonio Morena, stated they have excavated just five per cent of the total area taken up by the community but that is the equivalent to 110 football pitches.
It was in 1833 that the riches hidden beneath the surface were first discovered. A man ploughing a field with an ox team fell in to what is now known as the mausoleum of the Pompeians.
This mausoleum is a tomb which inside contained various items related to funerals including 12 urns with ashes. Here are also displayed the faces of the people buried there, with their names.
The explorations in recent years have uncovered the eastern gate that served as the access to the town through a wall built in the period 600 BC. However there were later alterations to the primitive wall that took place in Roman times to replace the door with one of greater dimensions flanked by two large towers.
New coastal protection law halts Costa developmentTown halls critical of Junta's move to temporarily freeze building within 500 metres of shoreline
By Oliver McIntyre
A NEW law passed last week by the Junta de Andalucía will temporarily halt all planned construction projects within half a kilometre of the shoreline in most Málaga towns.
The coastal protection measure is included in a Decreto Ley passed last Tuesday to force towns throughout the region to update and bring their local development plans (PGOUs) into compliance with the 2006 POTA regional planning ordinance. Only 12 of the 101 municipalities in Málaga province have done so to date, and of these only three are on the coast: Málaga, Fuengirola and Marbella.
The other 11 coastal towns in the province are subject to the temporary freeze on building projects within 500 metres of the shoreline, which will last between six months and two years as the Junta develops and approves its future Coastal Corridor Protection Plan, aimed at protecting the few relatively undeveloped areas of the region's coastline. That document will establish the guidelines and restrictions for future development within 500 metres of the shoreline.
The temporary building ban could impact an estimated 10,000 planned homes in the 11 affected Costa towns, mainly in Mijas and in the towns along the Axarquía coastline, from Rincón de la Victoria to Nerja.
Call for action over horse abandonment and abuseCYD Santa María horse refuge says cases have surged during economic crisis
By Oliver McIntyre
THE CYD Santa María horse rescue centre on Tuesday led a protest outside the Junta de Andalucía offices in Málaga to demand action over the abandonment and abuse of horses, which the group says has increased sharply during the economic crisis.
CYD, which operates a horse refuge in Alhaurín el Grande, says each week it receives an average of 50 requests to take on horses and 20 complaints from the public about mistreated or abandoned horses.
The group says the poor treatment of the animals throughout the region is causing public outrage, and has side effects such as traffic accidents caused by horses on the loose and contamination from horses left to die unattended. The situation is "deteriorating the image of Andalucía in the rest of Europe," it says.