The cave named La Maravilla Blanca (The White Wonder), discovered this summer. / sur

The Prosecutor's Office asks for an investigation into whether blasts from the La Araña cement plant have damaged prehistoric caves

It has instructed the Nature Protection Service Seprona to investigate a possible historical heritage crime following a complaint by the Izquierda Unida political party

JESÚS HINOJOSA

Malaga’s Provincial Prosecutor's Office has opened proceedings to investigate a possible historical heritage crime against the prehistoric caves, which are classified as an asset of cultural interest.

The blasting carried out by the La Araña cement factory last summer could have damaged the caves in the area.

Environmental Prosecutor Fernando Benítez has issued a resolution, following a complaint filed by the local coordinator of Izquierda Unida, Remedios Ramos, in which he asks that the facts denounced by the Seprona team of the Civil Guard Command of Malaga be investigated.

In his letter, the prosecutor highlights that, in the IU’s complaint, it is pointed out that "aggregate exploitation activities have been carried out in the area, with blasts using high-calibre explosives during the months of June, July and September 2021, by the FYM-Heydelberg cement company in the vicinity of Navarro IV Cave, declared to be of cultural interest, in the karst complex of La Araña, with possible damage to the cave named La Maravilla Blanca that was subject to inspection and report by the Delegation of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía on 25 June, with all extractive activity frozen as a result of that report."

However, in the resolution from the Prosecutor's Office it is added that "it seems that the cement company continued its activity underhandedly and there were explosions on 2 and 10 September that may have affected the site of the Navarro IV Cave and the newly discovered cave, which is within the environment of the protected area called the Complex of caves and prehistoric shelters of La Araña.”

The local coordinator of IU, Remedios Ramos, explained that the objective of this legal action is "the protection of the entire karst complex that includes the caves of La Araña, the Cueva del Navarro and La Maravilla Blanca that we consider to be in danger," and has asked the Board to process the protection of the newly discovered cave because "it is an asset of great geological, historical and patrimonial value."

"We welcome this opening of proceedings by the Prosecutor's Office and trust that it will be the first step towards the effective protection of this environment, given the lack of decision to date by the Malaga City Council and the Junta de Andalucía for its protection," Ramos added.