The apartment block in Piedrabuena where one of the victims lived. / efe

Tragic Sunday with three women murdered by their partners or former partners in Spain

Three men have been arrested in Cadiz, Ciudad Real and Tenerife, and police are investigating a "credible" confession from a man in Almeria who claims to have strangled a woman

JOSÉ MARÍA CAMARERO Madrid

It has been a dark start to the year with several cases of gender violence, including Sunday 8 January when three women died at the hands of their partners in Piedrabuena (Ciudad Real), El Puerto de Santa María (Cadiz) and Adeje (Tenerife). A man was arrested in Roquetas de Mar (Almeria) on the same day after confessing that he had strangled a woman, although it was not known at the time when he did so.

These new cases came at the end of a tragic year with nearly 50 deaths from domestic violence. In December alone ten women were murdered by their partners or ex-partners.

Three victims on one day

The first woman to be killed on Sunday was Belén, 24, who was stabbed at her home in Piedrabuena (Ciudad Real) at 3.30 in the morning. She was dead when the emergency services arrived. Her husband Eduardo, 30, who was arrested, had rung the Guardia Civil to report what had happened. The couple have a three-year-old daughter.

Although the authorities in Castilla-La Mancha and the Guardia Civil have not confirmed that this was a case of gender violence as the investigation is under judicial secrecy, the council held an extraordinary meeting on Sunday to express their rejection of violence and terror. The mayor, José Luis Cabezas, said he was not aware of Belén’s husband having a record of violent behaviour.

Neighbours reported gunshots

A few hours later, in El Puerto de Santa María (Cadiz), the police arrested a 40-year-old man for murdering a woman after neighbours reported hearing gunshots inside the property.

The police have said he was holding a revolver and was under the influence of alcohol and other substances when they arrived, and he confessed to having “killed his love”. The government’s delegate in Cadiz, José Pacheco, said he had a record of gender violence against a previous partner. Another man was also detained for his alleged involvement as a witness to the crime.

Child injured when trying to assist his mother

In Tenerife, the Guardia Civil have arrested a 44-year-old Moroccan man for stabbing his ex-wife, 46, to death in Adeje. He is also said to have injured one of the couple’s children, who had tried to help his mother. The woman has not been named, but sources close to the investigation have confirmed that the attack took place between 11.30pm and midnight and that she was stabbed two times.

Confessed to strangulation

Also on Sunday a Senegalese man, 30, was arrested after telling the Guardia Civil that he had strangled a Romanian woman in her forties after having sex with her. He is said to have a previous record for gender violence.

The authorities are treating his claim as credible, but are now trying to determine when the murder could have taken place.