Nerja mayor to go on trial over illegal rubbish tip by river

The tip operated from 1998 to 2016.
The tip operated from 1998 to 2016. / E. C.
  • The judge has concluded his investigation and one other councillor and seven business people will also be in the dock

A court in the Axarquía has confirmed that it will summon the mayor of Nerja and one of his councillors to stand trial over the illegal tipping of rubbish by a local river bed.

The investigation involves seven people from the building trade as well as the mayor, José Alberto Armijo of the PP party, and his councillor for Planning and Housing, Mari Nieves Atencia. The accusations focus on the illegal dumping in an old quarry by the Miel river in Nerja from June 1998 to September 2016.

The judge said that Nerja town hall, which also is liable, and the two politicians must deposit almost 10.8 million euros to cover any possible public liability payments for the supposed environmental damage. Some 800,000 cubic metres of waste is alleged to have been left at the site without any controls or operating licences in place.

The Torrox-based judge also said that the case was being provisionally and partially shelved against Rosa Arrabal, the former PSOE mayor, and two other local, and one regional, politicians initially under investigation.

AGRECA, a regional association of waste management firms, said it welcomed the move to a trial.

It explained that it would set an example and put an end to, what it says, is the culture of councils in Spain turning a blind eye when illegal tipping of waste and building materials is carried out in their areas.