Friday, 15 September 2023, 17:30
A man in the Andalusian province Granada is requesting to voluntarily go to prison because he is afraid of being on his own.
Justo Márquez Sánchez, 60, revealed on his social media accounts that he wants to go to Albolote prison, despite not committing any criminal offence. The Motril resident is suffering from cancer and heart problems, and said he is lonely and has been abandoned by his family.
"I volunteer to go to prison," he said from the living room of his house while holding a sign that relayed the same message. "I am 60 years old and have suffered from heart problems for 15 years. When I lived with my wife, sometimes I would go into cardiac arrest and I would be practically dead. She called the emergency services and managed to revive me before they arrived. Now she is no longer here and I'm afraid it will happen to me alone. Nobody can help me," Justo Márquez told the local Granada newspaper, Ideal.
@efenoticias Justo Márquez, un granadino de 60 años enfermo de cáncer, ha pedido ingresar voluntariamente en el centro penitenciario de Alhaurín de la Torre (Málaga) porque, debido a su estado de salud, tiene miedo de "estar solo" y en la cárcel tendría compañeros que le podrían "atender y socorrer". #soledad #noticiasen1minuto #carcel #prision #españa #malaga #cancer #alhaurindelatorre ♬ Piano, sea, waves, summer, sadness, heartwarming(1262760) - Gloveity
Justo got married in 1999 to "the shop assistant of a grocery store he ran". After nearly 24 years of love and five children, the couple is on the verge of divorce. Last June he had no choice but to move out of his family home. "My wife doesn't want me to go back home. I try not to lose contact with my children, but I never see them. I have recently become a grandfather and my daughter has not introduced me to my grandson. I am lonely and not very cheerful. I have suffered from depression and anxiety. That's why prison doesn't seem such a bad fate for me," he said.
'I don't want to commit a crime'
Unfortunately for Justo, getting into prison is not that simple. He cannot go behind bars without committing a crime, which Justo said he does not want to do. "I don't want to commit a crime. I just want to live with someone and be able to talk. Rather than being on the street without a family and isolated, I prefer prison. I've already been to social services and they haven't helped me," he said.
Justo spends his days living on a small pension in his house in Motril. Because of his age, he cannot yet retire. He is currently on sick leave due to his cancer and cardiovascular complications.
"It's not terminal, but I'm awaiting tests. I was diagnosed before the pandemic. I went as far as having radiotherapy, but I didn't want to have surgery because my brother got very worn out and died shortly afterwards when he had it," Justo added. He plans to rally in October in front of the doors of the Motril courthouse to make his case known, which is going viral on the internet. "Through TikTok I am receiving a lot of support. Even from Latin America. The messages cheer me up and encourage me to continue," he said.
This is not the first time that Justo Márquez has appeared in the media. In the past three decades, he went on pilgrimage to the villages of the Costa Tropical, the Alpujarra and even outside Andalucía asking for justice for various causes. But it was how he did it that sparked headlines, carrying a large wooden cross on his back along the way. The end of violence against women, the end of world hunger, and a lawsuit against the use of water from a farmhouse were some of his crusades.
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