The Axarquía is again in the news, as the former mayor of the PP in the town of Cómpeta, Leovigildo Lopez begins his two year sentence in prison. The sentence was handed down in July 2014 for a crime against planning, after building a warehouse on undeveloped land within the Natural Park of the Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama.
He is the third in a line ex councillors of Axarquia entering prison for similar offences, following on from the socialist Juan Millan (Viñuela) and José Manuel Martín Alba (Alcaucín).
All these legal proceedings were initiated last decade. Martin Alba was arrested in 2009 and was subsequently imprisoned. The expected macro trial will not start until November this year. For many of those affected by the granting of illegal licences, news of these public officials’ arrests and imprisonments mark a start to overcome the past “as a result of the new regulatory framework imposed by the Junta de Andalucia.
However, although it points to the turning of the page on those years prior to the bursting of the housing bubble in Spain, for many of these key players not everything has been said. “This applies, for example, to the current mayor of Alcaucín Belgian Mario Blancke (C’s). As a spokesperson for the group of residents Soha, composed of more than five hundred affected by the lack of regulation of their homes, he said: “I have the impression that this stage is a false closing. I believe that you cannot focus all responsibility on mayors. “
In this sense, he recalls that the allegations of many of these public ex representatives indicated that the granting of housing on undeveloped land was “common practice”. And he insists that the ex-Socialist mayors in many cases, “own party colleagues on committees failed to warn them that they were committing alleged planning crimes”.