Monday, 5 June 2023, 16:23
Two men have been released on bail and are awaiting trial following an attempted attack on the acting mayor of Alfarnate, Juan Jesús Gallardo. Gallardo reported the incident to the Guardia Civil, which allegedly involved death threats and an attempted knife attack by a group of residents of the Axarquía village.
Gallardo explained to SUR that the events took place in the early hours of Sunday 4 June, following an earlier incident at a bar in the village, which has just 1,039 registered residents.
According to the 30-year-old acting mayor, at around midnight he was in a bar with some friends when a local resident started smoking inside. "We got his attention and took him outside, with the help of the owner", explained Gallardo, who said that it was then that these residents began to "rebuke them" and to throw "bottles and glasses" at them.
"One of the bottles hit the owner of the bar in the head and cut him, he began to bleed heavily and I was hit in the side, but it did not injure me," said the mayor. He went on to explain that they went to the local health centre surgery so that the bar owner could be treated; he required several stitches.
At that moment, Gallardo received "a call" from his parents, claiming that those involved in the attack had gone to his home to find him and were saying that they were going to "look for him to kill him".
"I went out for a moment and saw them coming, there were at least six of them, two of them with balaclavas, carrying sticks, knives, and machetes," said the mayor, who said that it was then that he took refuge inside the health centre.
"If they had caught me anywhere else they would have killed me," said Gallardo, who thanked the Guardia Civil for their quick action. According to the mayor, officers went to the village and identified the alleged assailants.
"I am very scared, they are residents of the village. A few months ago one of them was denied a building permit for a house and another was denied a municipal report," admitted the mayor, who gained an absolute majority in the local elections on Sunday 28 May. He has been in office since the previous local elections in 2019. "I hope the court gives them a restraining order, I can't go on living next to them, they want to kill me," said Gallardo.
Two people were arrested but have since been released on bail and the Guardia Civil has identified three other residents for their alleged involvement in the incident. The men two men who were arrested are of Moroccan nationality, are aged 25 and 20 and are both residents of Alfarnate. The other three are also Moroccan.
SUR has also been able to confirm that a sixth individual has yet to be identified and located, as his face was covered at the time of the events and he fled the scene when police, who came from Periana, arrived on the scene.
Guardia Civil officers seized at least two bladed weapons from the arrested men; two kitchen knives with a blade of about 20 centimetres, and a stick. The two arrested men have now been handed over to the judicial authorities. One of them, the 25-year-old, has a criminal record for an assault on a doctor at the local doctor's surgery last February. The other, aged 20, has no criminal record.
Judicial sources have explained to SUR that the case has been referred to a court in Malaga which has opened the corresponding urgent proceedings. After taking statements from the two arrested, the court has agreed to release them on bail and the trial is due to take place in March 2024.
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