Berta Linares, acting socialist mayor of Maracena (Granada, 22,293 inhabitants), has announced her resignation from office as well as her resignation to take office as councilor of the new corporation that must be constituted on June 17. Linares has justified his decision in that "his step back will facilitate a government pact in Maracena". The former mayor was referring to the request of IU de Maracena so that any attempt at a future left-wing government would involve her taking a step back. Despite having justified his resignation in that possible left-wing pact, PSOE and IU lack a councilor to reach an absolute majority, while the right-wing and local bloc does gather enough votes. In fact, a couple of hours after the resignation of Linares, the popular candidate, Julio M. Pérez, has announced that he has enough votes – the six of the PP, two of Vox and three of the two local parties – to get an absolute majority.
Linares has indicated in the statement in which she has announced her decision that "media exposure and personal exhaustion" has led her "to put the objectives of continuing to build a better Maracena above any personal objective." The former mayor has argued: "I am not even investigated or charged, nor have I been called to testify yet, but before so much noise and malicious hoax I prefer to step aside and let a new team work for the good of my city." He added: "I hope that sooner rather than later justice will finally show my innocence and it will be clear that we have suffered a dirty and unfair campaign, both politically and personally."
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The origin of this resignation is in the events that occurred on February 21 when Pedro Gómez, then partner of the mayor, illegally held Vanessa Romero for two hours. Gomez, in provisional detention since he was arrested the same day of the kidnapping, met Romero early in the morning at the school where the girls of the councilwoman attended, in the neighboring town of Atarfe, and asked her to take him to Maracena. A few seconds later, the kidnapper showed him a gun – which turned out to be false – and began a retention of a couple of hours that ended with Romero escaping by kicking from the trunk of the car where the kidnapper had abandoned her. During the abduction, the kidnapper told the councilwoman how badly he said he was treating the mayor, according to the abductee's testimony.
Before the kidnapping, Linares and Romero maintained a difficult political and personal relationship, derived from the mayor's lack of confidence in her councilor and the impression that the mayor had that illegal acts were being committed in the City Council in terms of urban planning.
Following the abduction, the investigation was kept secret until 25 May, three days before the elections, and it was made public that it was being expanded into two different branches. On the one hand, the judge sent the documentation to the Criminal Chamber of the TSJA to decide if it was necessary to investigate the possible involvement in that retention of three maraceneros socialist politicians: Noel López, former mayor from 2007 to 2021 and until his resignation a few days ago number three of the Andalusian PSOE, Berta Linares, mayor, and Antonio García Leyva, Councillor for Urban Planning and a trusted man of both. On the other hand, the judge has opened a separate investigation into possible urban crimes. This stems from numerous documents — 15 folders and 17 loose papers, according to a police report — that the councilwoman had in the car. The mayor had been collecting these papers for some time, which she intended to make public and which according to her would prove those crimes.
After the summary was released, and the judicial investigation of the three politicians, the mayor showed that it was "very strange" that they were made public two days before the elections and advanced that this would achieve, "disturb and alter the result of an election." "When everything is clarified and our innocence is proven," he continued now, "who is going to give us back free elections? Who is going to give us back our tarnished image and the damage against our colleagues and families?"
The electoral result of the PSOE collapsed since the previous elections: from the 11 councilors who gave it an absolute majority two years ago to the seven now, insufficient to govern alone.