The inmate, with a painting of El Rico done by prisoners. :: ŃITO SALAS
“I went to prison eleven years after making a mistake and it tore my life apart, as well as my family’s,” said S. C. of Alhaurín de la Torre, 30, who will be freed by Jesús El Rico on Wednesday of Holy Week.
The inmate was speaking last weekend from Alhaurín jail, where he is serving a three-year sentence for a crime (causing injury) he committed in 2002. He said that he had never lost hope that he would be pardoned since he was told he had to go to prison in November last year to serve his sentence.
“Going to jail eleven years after the mistake I made when I was only 19 was a shock for me and my family, as I was married, with a son and I had to give up my job,” he said.
The delay was due to the fact that he applied for a pardon from the Supreme Court, although an answer was never received “perhaps because they lost the papers,” and the years went by.
Although he knew he was in with a chance, S.C. only found out that he was the prisoner to be released by El Rico on Saturday.
“In here, you always have the hope that you will get out as soon as possible. This has been an experience I’ve had in my life. All things considered I’ve been OK inside and I’ve met some good people,” he said.
With his face covered to preserve his identity and accompanied by the elder brother of the El Rico brotherhood, Antonio Martínez Pinar, and the Provincial prison governor Ángel Herbella, the young inmate thanked the brotherhood for his freedom and agreed to join the procession on Wednesday.
As for his immediate future, he said that he hoped to be able to go back to his old job and felt satisfied to be able to home to Alhaurín with no sentence hanging over him.
“Alhaurín de la Torre is a nice town, with good infrastructure, and it makes no difference that the prison is here; prison is prison wherever it is,” he added. Both the prison governor and the elder brother said they were satisifed with the profile of this year’s freed prisoner. He had already rebuilt his life when he went to prison and had shown that he was very sorry for what had taken him there, they said.
The privilege of releasing a prisoner every Wednesday of Holy Week was granted to the brotherhood by King Carlos III in the 18th century. The prisoner traditionally accompanies the image of Christ during the procession.
The El Rico brotherhood was reorganised in 1938 and this year celebrates its 75th anniversary.