Sunday, May 28

The Prosecutor’s Office asks to file the criminal case that remains for deaths by covid in residences in Cáceres

In the courts of the province of Cáceres, more than fifty deaths of the elderly due to covid in residences have been investigated. Their children and grandchildren filed criminal complaints, suspecting or believing that their relatives had died abandoned, without receiving the necessary care to keep them alive. Due to the pandemic, they were prohibited from visiting them and, anguished, they received the news that they had the virus or simply that they had died after being infected.

Little by little, after months and even more than a year of investigation, the courts filed the complaints. The death of the elderly due to covid was investigated in eight nursing homes in the province: two in the city of Cáceres, two in Plasencia, another two in Garrovillas de Alconétar, one in Deleitosa and another in Valencia de Alcántara.

At present, the Cáceres Prosecutor’s Office indicates that all the investigation procedures that were processed are archived. There is none in process.

However, the daughter of a deceased in the El Cuartillo Assisted Residence has appealed the file of the case in the Provincial Court of Cáceres, requesting that the case be reopened considering that a crime was committed. It was on March 7 when the appeal was filed at the Court. The court has asked the Cáceres Prosecutor’s Office for its opinion, and the public prosecution has asked that it be definitively archived.

Of all the investigations carried out, the one that had the greatest media impact was the one promoted by the Association of Victims of the Asistida. It is the one presented by the relatives of 35 deceased by covid in the Assisted Residence of Cáceres ‘El Cuartillo’, a place where in the first six months of the pandemic 76 of the 320 people treated in this center died of the virus.

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These relatives were grouped in a joint complaint, in which the only one investigated was Amparo García, the director of the residence, whom they accused of having committed crimes of reckless homicide and reckless injury.

There were also several family members who individually filed complaints against the management of the pandemic at the Assisted Residence.

The Court of First Instance and Instruction number 5 of Cáceres was the one that investigated the complaints filed against the Assisted. On January 28, after a year and a half of investigation, he issued an order in which he decided to file the case as he saw no evidence of a crime. The Court assured that the director, the only one investigated, had acted “according to the situation that she was experiencing.” He pointed out that there was no doubt “that all the deceased were treated like the rest of the patients, and in accordance with the capacities of a collapsed health system at the time of the outbreak of the situation, with medical treatment, with or without success; but that no longer depended on the doctor who prescribed it or the nurses and assistants who provided care at the Residence, but rather on circumstances beyond their control. The most affective attention was sought, within the reach of the knowledge of science and the possibilities of all of them».

The lawyer who represents the members of the Association of Victims of the Asistida, after listening to the relatives of the 35 deceased, decided not to appeal the filing order in the Court of Cáceres, end the criminal procedure and initiate the procedures in the contentious-administrative, where they will request financial compensation from the Junta de Extremadura.

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The lawyer of the daughter of a deceased in the Assisted is the only one who has decided to appeal the order of file at the Hearing.

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