María Gámez with her husband, Juan Carlos Martínez, in an archive image. Ñito Salas
María Gámez resigns as director general of Spain's Guardia Civil amid 'barracks case' scandal

María Gámez resigns as director general of Spain's Guardia Civil amid 'barracks case' scandal

Gámez, who has strong ties with Malaga, was the first woman to preside over the Spanish police force in its 175-year history

Antonio M. Romero


Wednesday, 22 March 2023, 15:56


María Gámez, who has been head of the Guardia Civil, since January 2020 tendered her resignation today (Wednesday, 22 March) amid the 'barracks case' scandal, which affects several commanders of the force for alleged corruption related to works in several barracks, and a police investigation into her husband's company for a subsidised item.

Gámez, 54, from Cadiz, had professional and political ties to Malaga, from where she graduated in Law. In 2004 she was appointed as the Junta's delegate of Innovation, Science and Enterprise in Malaga and four years later she became the highest representative of the Andalusian government in the province. She was the PSOE candidate for mayor of Malaga city in 2011 and 2015.

In 2016 she left local politics and returned to her post as a civil servant in the Junta de Andalucía. Two years later, in June 2018, she returned to the political front line when she was appointed sub-delegate of the government in Malaga, becoming the first woman to achieve this position. She was head of the operation to rescue Julen Roselló García, the two-year-old boy, who tragically fell 109 m (358 ft) into a well shaft near Totalán, on January 13, 2019.

As a person with the utmost confidence of the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, she was appointed director general of the Guardia Civil because of her extensive previous experience. She was the first woman to preside over the force in its 175-year history.

Her replacement will be Mercedes González, the current government delegate in the Madrid region. González, a rising figure within PSOE, had been touted for some time for a more important post and had been considered as a possible candidate for the presidency of the region or as Madrid mayor.

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