Wednesday, 26 April 2023
Mayor of Nerja, José Alberto Armijo, has been acquitted of any crime in the case of the Río de la Miel illegal landfill. Malaga’s criminal court also acquitted six construction company owners who had also been implicated in the case. The public prosecutor had already withdrawn the accusation against urban planning councillor Nieves Atencia before the ruling this Wednesday 26 April.
The Río de la Miel landfill, located in a former quarry on the outskirts of Nerja in the Sierras Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama protected area, operated for 18 years, between 1998 and 2016. In that time 800,000 cubic metres of construction waste and organic matter were dumped.
An investigation was opened up and a trial began in October 2022, with Armijo, Atencia and the six business people accused of crimes against the environment. However, the judge leading the trial has declared that no crime has been found to have been committed by any of the accused.
"It was always very clear to me", Armijo said after the ruling. He added that his family "has suffered" during the six-year investigation: "The political and business conduct could in no way be described as criminal" he said.
The mayor is "pleased" that his “prediction has been confirmed" and went on to say that the matter "has never been debated in council meetings because it was a reality known by all the administrations and in which no one has committed any crime".
Speaking today (Wednesday) after the ruling was given, Armijo said, "The landfill did not constitute any kind of political, social or environmental problem. In fact the environmentalists were missing for many years.” Armijo expressed his "gratitude" to the municipal legal services and the lawyers who have intervened in the process defending the town hall.
The landfill has been restored by the Junta de Andalucía with 1.6 million euros of European funds and the work was completed in June 2022. An appeal against the sentence, which is not final, can be lodged with Malaga’s provincial court via the Public Prosecutor's Office.
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