surinenglish

Phone mast to be removed after 18 years of protests and cancer fears

Infrastructure councillor, Paola Moreno and Mayor, Óscar Medina.
Infrastructure councillor, Paola Moreno and Mayor, Óscar Medina. / Eugenio Cabezas
  • Orange España has repeatedly refused to remove the antenna which neighbours believe has caused cancer-related deaths

Residents of the Generación del 27 neighbourhood, situated between El Morche and Torrox Costa, celebrated the news that a telephone mast, which they say has caused "high numbers" of cancer-related deaths, is to be taken down in early November.

Mayor of Torrox, Óscar Medina, announced last week that town hall operatives would be dismantling the mast between 5 and 19 November.

The move follows 18 years of protests by people living in the area, who claim that radiation from the mast has caused the deaths. Neighbourhood spokesperson, David Ruiz, said that residents believe the number is "high" given that only 300 people live in the vicinity of the mast. He added that studies "have never been carried out regarding the level of radiation coming from the aerial and the high mortality rate in the area."

In May 2014 Torrox town hall requested that telephone company, Orange España, remove the mast, which Orange refused to do. The matter went to court and eventually in December 2017 a court in Malaga rejected a last-minute attempt by Orange España to keep the aerial where it is.

Refusal to remove mast

Since then Torrox town hall has been trying to get the company to remove the mast, a move which Orange has refused to act upon. The council has also asked Orange to identify a new site for the mast as there are concerns that customers will have signal problems along the coast.

As the town hall has been unsuccessful in its attempts to get the company to take down the structure, Medina signed an order for the town hall to dismantle it last week.

The mayor told SUR last week that after 18 years of fighting, "We are going to remove that aerial." David Ruiz said that he was "satisfied" they are finally going to remove it.