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Ex-Ronda mayor arrested at last! PDF
Thursday, 29 September 2011 00:00
 

The former mayor of Ronda has finally been arrested on a range of corruption charges. It has been an open secret for years that Antonio María Marín Lara has been up to something, and at last the authorities have got the evidence, it would seem. 

Antonio María Marín Lara, along with three of his fellow PSOE (socialist) councillors, two directors of the supermarket chain Eroski and a Málaga planning lawyer, were arrested by officers of the Policía Nacional in dawn raids on Tuesday and appeared in court yesterday.

After a year-long investigation – codenamed "Operation Acinipo" – the police finally moved in, making the arrests and searching the Town Hall and planning departments, as well as the homes of those arrested.

The charges include perversion of the course of justice, fraud, bribery, influence peddling, misuse of public funds, document falsification and money laundering, all linked to town planning irregularities. It is believed that Marín Lara, nickname Toti, could be investigated for up to a dozen different cases of planning fraud.

Environmental group Ecologistas en Acción has expressed its delight at the former mayor’s arrest and highlighted a long list of urban projects dating back years that have been ‘plagued by irregularities’ and could now be investigated. These include the licensing of the controversial Los Merinos golf course development, which includes a double golf course, 800 houses and three luxury hotels, the building of the Ascari race track, the Eroski shopping centre project on the site of the former football field and the proliferation of new houses built in the basin of the Tajo on land classified for special protection.

The other people arrested include Francisco Cañestro, a provincial deputy and Secretary of the PSOE in Ronda, María José Martín de Haro, the ex-town planning councillor and Rafael Lara, former councillor for the economy and safety.

The PSOE has now formally suspended all four, while investigations continue.

Footnote
It has not been a good year couple of years for Marín Lara. After “crossing the floor” two years ago from the Partido Andalucista (PA) to the Socialist Party (PSOE), he was not forgiven by the electors of Ronda for his treachery. In the local elections this May, despite polling slightly more votes than the Partido Popular (PP) he was unable to form a coalition to remain as mayor. Instead the PP and the PA joined forces under the leadership of new mayor, Mari Paz Fernández.


© Paul Whitelock

 

Related articles:

Toti bows out!

Ronda has no truck with traitors

New mayor for Ronda

Tags: Ronda, Ronda mayor, Antonio Maria Marin Lara, Marin lara, lara, Toti, PSOE, PP, PA, arrest, corruption, planning fraud, Operation Acinipo, Ecologistas en Acción, Eroski, Ascari, Los Merinos, Francisco Cañestro, Mari Paz Fernández, paul whitelock, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , www.a1-solutions-spain.com

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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