Thursday, February 29

Salaya and four other mayors declare that they were not pressured to remove the crosses

The mayor of Cáceres, Luis Salaya, (on the right) entering the Palace of Justice through a door that is not the main one to avoid the press and demonstrators. / arming

Court number 3 of Cáceres is investigating whether Carlos Carlos committed the crimes of prevarication and hate, of which the Christian Lawyers Foundation accuses him

Serge Lawrence

Before nine o’clock this Tuesday, the mayor of Cáceres Luis Salaya entered the Palace of Justice of his city; but he did not go through the main door where there were seven people with banners saying ‘The Cross is not touched’, and journalists and cameras from different media outlets. He made it through a door not normally used by the public. Four other mayors from the province of Cáceres also entered through the same place, who have testified as witnesses in Court number 3 of Cáceres, where it is being investigated whether the president of the Cáceres Provincial Council, Carlos Carlos, could have committed a crime of prevarication and another of hatred, since the Spanish Christian Lawyers Foundation has denounced that it pressured these mayors, assuring them that they would not receive subsidies if they did not remove the crosses that had been placed in their municipalities at the time of the Franco dictatorship.

The five mayors, all of them socialists, denied that Carlos Carlos had pressured them in any way. After Luis Salaya testified, the mayor of Gargüera, Feliciana Muñoz; the mayor of Brozas, Milagrosa Hurtado; the mayor of Talaveruela de la Vera, María Belén Blanco; and the mayor of Barrado, Jaime Díaz.

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In the month of March 2021, Christian Lawyers filed the complaint and the Court number 3 of Cáceres filed it last February. The same court has had to reopen the case and continue the investigation, as indicated by a higher legal body, the Provincial Court of Cáceres, where Christian Lawyers had filed an appeal. The Court said that the case cannot be filed without first taking a statement from the mayors.

The lawyer José María Fernández, from Christian Lawyers, assures that there is enough evidence to accuse the president of the Cáceres Provincial Council. «From the Diputación -he affirms-, they have been forced, first to catalog crosses as Francoist vestiges, and then to demolish them. There are municipal bands saying that they were forced to tear down the cross of their town to receive subsidies. They claimed that the Provincial Council was forcing them.

It indicates that in the five towns in which their mayors have testified, the crosses were resignified, “that is -he insists-, that they lost their previous meaning of exalting one of the sides and became simple crosses, like the one in Cáceres that now it has a totally democratic registration and even has a coat of arms of Spain, which is the constitutional one. These five crosses, to this day, the only meaning they have is the Christian and reconciliation. They have nothing to do with an inscription with yokes and arrows. After 2,000 years of Christianity the meaning of a cross is sufficiently demonstrated. Lawyer José María Fernández emphasizes that a cross cannot be linked to any regime. “Maybe one day -he affirms-, instead of crosses we have Islamic symbols, and my association will not persecute them because they also deserve respect”.

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The Spanish Foundation of Christian Lawyers affirms that they support their complaint in a sentence that described as criminal a case similar to that which occurred in Badajoz. The ruling is from the Contentious Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Extremadura, dated October 28, 2019, and indicates that it is illegal to link the granting of subsidies to the demolition of crosses.

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