Current and former mayors to give evidence in sewage treatment case

Raw sewage discharged into the sea in Nerja.
Raw sewage discharged into the sea in Nerja. / SUR
  • A number of Nerja politicians will appear in court over possible offences committed in relation to the wastewater treatment plant

Current mayor of Nerja, Rosa Arrabal (PSOE), and José Alberto Armijo, who served as mayor under the Partido Popular from 1995 until 2015, are to give evidence in the ongoing 'Operación Vastum' case which is investigating possible offences in relation to the town's controversial wastewater treatment plant.

The two politicians, who are top of their respective lists for the forthcoming local elections, will be appear in court in Torrox in June to testify, along with six other current and former councillors and two managers from local water company, Aguas de Narixa, which is responsible for water supply and wastewater disposal in Nerja.

Operación Vastum started in 2017 when environmental group, Ecologistas en Acción, denounced Nerja town hall, along with those of Coín and Alhaurín el Grande, for not treating sewage before discharging it into the sea or rivers, which the action group claims breaches a European Union directive on water sanitation in municipalities with populations above 15,000.

Possible fraud

The politicians are also being investigated for possible fraud, as Nerja residents have been charged for sewage treatment on their water bills since 2011, despite the treatment plant never having been completed.

A former councillor and local businessman, Jorge Naváez, who owns a business on Burriana beach, has also repeatedly reported the authorities for the lack of water treatment as he claims raw sewage is tipped into a stream which passes his establishment before going into the sea.

A magistrate dealing with the case, Laura Crossa Gil, told SUR last week that the first judge in the case will be the local elections on 26 May, when many of those being investigated will be hoping that Nerja residents, who still don't have a working treatment plant, will be voting for them.