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Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeLatest NewsThe prosecutor's office condemned the road plan, which would "benefit" the family...

The prosecutor’s office condemned the road plan, which would “benefit” the family business of President Cabildo de la Palma after the volcanic eruption.

Mas Canarias (the party associated with Íñigo Errejón) denounced this Thursday in the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office of Madrid the alleged “conflict of interest” between the president of the Cabildo de La Palma, Mariano Hernández Zapata (PP), with the layout of a new motorway that will connect Tazacorte with Puerto Naos, a road, built after a volcanic eruption that recently affected the island and which was declared “extraordinary”, at a cost of 38 million euros. In particular, they emphasize in their letter that “one might think that there is a special economic interest and conflict of interest on the part of the President of the Cabildo de la Palma in connection with the use of an exceptional emergency procedure to open the road, which will benefit his interests, located in the west of La Palma. A party recently formed in the Archipelago asks for an investigation to clarify some facts after the September 19 volcanic eruption.

Javier Navarro and Floricela Rodríguez, signatories to the protocol submitted to the prosecutor’s office, claim that the Hernández Zapata family owns land in the Las Monjas beach area, one kilometer from Puerto Naos in the direction of Remo, and that the “VIHEFE family” registered the brand “Hotel Playa de Las Monjas” since 2000, according to the attached documentation, among which there is a plot of 17,000 square meters. The applicants argue that “the extraordinary contracting formula is clearly in the interest of urban development in the coastal area near Playa de las Monjas and Puerto Naos for the construction of hotels.”

According to the applicants, this route should not be considered as “emergency” since there is another one that will allow the connection with the Aridani Valley to be restored. This, they explain, is the road that will link the La Laguna area to Las Norias, which is progressing at a good pace despite being built on lava flows. The letter is accompanied by photographs of the course of this section and the connection of two earthmoving machines on both sides of the road. However, “the President of the Cabildo remains adamant and stubborn in his position for the urgent construction of three unnecessary sections of the highway,” they denounce.

Representatives of Más Canarias say that the purpose of the resolution, which allocates $ 38 million for the necessary work to reconstruct or restore road infrastructure on the island of La Palma in connection with the volcanic eruption, clarifies that “the purpose of the emergency work will be to to restore, as far as possible, the connection between the LP-2 highway in the center of Los Llanos de Aridane with the southeastern area of ​​the colada, thus restoring the main mobility route affected by the lava flow.” However, they believe that the content of this resolution is the result of the proposals and agreements of the “Council, which intends to lay highways not to solve the necessary connection already achieved, but rather to clearly advocate, through an emergency contractual formula, in the interests of the urban development of the coastal zone near Playa de las Monjas and Puerto Naos for the construction of hotels” and that, therefore, “it does not meet the needs of the victims, but destroys those who are not affected, arbitrarily and unnecessarily.”

The applicants point out that all this is “independent” of “the expropriation of settlements, neighborhoods and houses in Villa and Puerto de Tazacorta, as well as banana farms not affected by volcanic lava.” According to the signatories, “the route is not made public, it is very difficult to pass, and the arbitrariness in changing it daily creates a state of insecurity among the population, as significant as the lava of an erupting volcano.” In addition, they insist that “the declaration of a state of emergency is not advisable and therefore a written petition has been presented with a legal justification, which is thus guaranteed before the Canarian Parliament.”

The letter also mentions the crisis caused by the Cabildo de la Palma grant of almost one million euros, which was given in 2020 by the Island Waters Council to repair a well co-owned by the president’s father. Corporations, Mariano Hernandez Zapata. The decision to provide this subsidy (at a delicate moment for the island due to the severe drought of that year) was supported by the majority of the people who make up the organization, with the exception of ten votes against, realizing that the infrastructure was not in accordance with the law, since it was not registered in the Water Register Canary Islands, which is an important requirement for receiving government subsidies.

More votes against road markings

The road, known as the coastal road, has caused controversy in La Palma in recent months, and a demonstration was called this Friday. Organizers are calling on the public to take part in this protest against the “terrible layout” of the road. “We demand that undamaged sections of existing roads be reused without the need to kill neighborhoods and farms that were badly affected by the volcano,” they emphasize in the appeal. In addition, they have been collecting signatures for weeks on the platform under the slogan “Don’t let the administration take away what little the volcano left us.” “The new route we are protesting in Tazacorta and included in this contingency plan is only intended to reduce traffic on the used San Borondon Highway, which is about 200 meters from the proposed route. If there were no other alternative to connect El Valle, this would have to be done, but two other road works are currently underway on the land devastated by the volcano and already cover this section,” explains the affected group. when collecting signatures.

On the other hand, there have already been voices that publicly warned of possible “conflicts of interest” of the president of the Cabildo de la Palma in Puerto Naos. An IUC adviser in Los Llanos de Aridana mutilated at the December 2020 island corporation plenary meeting the Cabildo President’s “participation” in the planning of Puerto Naos “despite the presence of family interests in the area”. At that meeting, as at another the following year, he warned that Zapata was “participating in various meetings” to process this urban planning.

“Lack of transparency” in donations

Mas Canarias also denounced in a note submitted to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office that supposedly “transparency criteria” were not used in the distribution of donations received in the Cabildo’s bank account due to the volcanic eruption. “Distributions have hardly been made public, and in many cases the true recipients of donations have yet to receive any amount. It really annoys the victims to know if they get ten thousand or two thousand when they don’t have a job, housing or money to buy groceries, or they don’t know how they’re doing on the register.” highlight.

And they add that “the victims, being people going through the trauma of losing all their assets and jobs, were forced to create various platforms as they found themselves defenseless and sought legal and technical assistance to protect them. rights”. In addition, they believe that “the amount, purpose, use and distribution of money from donations received by the Cabildo Insular de la Palma are unknown and only global references are made. In these last days, they are listed by number of fallouts.”

After revealing various points, the leaders note that “in view of the evidence provided and existing information, this party believes that the actions collected in the various types included in the Penal Code with a conflict of interest could have been committed: maladministration, trading in influence; theft both in terms of misappropriation of state property, and in terms of unfair management of public property; misappropriation, as well as the inevitable reference to various possible crimes of evasion from public servants”, and therefore they require the opening of “relevant proceedings that lead to the clarification of the facts” and prescribe “the practice of conducting timely investigations”. according to the nature of the possible crimes, their seriousness and possible public concern, the appointment of a special prosecutor to lead the investigation until it is completed and, if necessary, to take appropriate criminal measures against all persons who may be responsible for criminal activity”, they conclude.

This newspaper has tried to get a version of the President of the Cabildo de la Palma, Mariano Zapata, but he has not yet answered the questions asked.


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