“I have felt harassed and I continue to feel harassed. They have treated me differently because I am a woman since I became a politician,” Ana Martínez Vidal, former coordinator of Citizens in the Region of Murcia, is so blunt. Six months ago his parliamentary group and the PSOE raised a motion of censure to the PP Government of which Martínez Vidal was part until that moment and in which, in addition, he was running as president. A failed motion that caused a hurricane in national politics with the early calling of elections in the Community of Madrid. Meanwhile, in the Region of Murcia, the President of the Executive, Fernando López Miras, integrated into his new Government three of the defectors of Ciudadanos and a counselor who had been expelled from Vox to continue holding power.
Of whom, when she entered the political environment, she was known as ‘the blonde’ – “despite the fact that there were other blonde women on the Governing Board of the Murcia City Council” – the media, both regional and national, highlighted a and again I had “a lot of ambition”. “That image of an ambitious woman does not correspond to reality. People who know me know perfectly well that it is an argument of the PP to discredit me,” says Martínez Vidal, who experienced the fact of becoming a spokesperson for the regional government of coalition of PP and Cs in August 2019 “having to defend some arguments of the PP that, on many occasions, he did not share”, at the same time that she was appointed company advisor. “Since I started in politics I have felt excessively exposed at certain times and that role did not make me feel comfortable,” she adds.
“Ambition is completely legal in any person and what I understand is that when women are ambitious they qualify us disparagingly and when men are ambitious or it is not talked about or, in case of naming it, it is seen as a positive trait. There there is a clearly macho bias, “reflects the vice president of the Regional Assembly and head of Economy and Equality in the regional PSOE (PSRM), Gloria Alarcón, regarding the projected image of Martínez Vidal insistently in the media, the rumors in the corridors of the Assembly and even in the rostrum.
The former coordinator of Cs in Murcia, currently replaced by María José Ros after her resignation last July, considers it “an honor” that her party asked her to lead the motion of censure during the negotiations with the PSOE, although she also acknowledges that it was not that “his objective” and that he transmitted to the national leadership of Cs the possibility that the then socialist leader Diego Conesa would be the future president “with the risks we were running and given the division of our parliamentary group.” “I had everything in politics that I would have aspired to: to be the coordinator of my party, to be the key to the government, to have the possibility of having the vice-presidency, to be a company councilor. I did not need to be president for my political achievement,” she insists.
His enmity with Murcian vice president Isabel Franco, who was also Cs’s partner in the Regional Assembly, was well known. Finally, Martínez Vidal not only stayed out of the Government, but together with the former spokesman Juan José Molina lost the parliamentary group when one of the turncoat councilors, Francisco Álvarez, resigned his post after a month in the Government and snatched them the control. Currently both deputies are integrated into the Mixed Group together with the two representatives of Podemos, although they will not be able to have the spokesperson.
“They have not given me truce from the first moment. First, with articles attributing a false affinity to the PP. During the days after the motion of censure, the regional media did not contact me to contrast the news and they echoed biased information. They were not even able to ask me for a statement, “says the civil engineer who was councilor for Infrastructure in the Murcia City Council with the mayor of the Popular Party Miguel Ángel Cámara between 2011 and 2015. It was then that Vidal met to her second ex-husband, José Francisco Pérez Rodríguez, mayor of the Murcian district of Era Alta until 2019, whom a couple of months after his divorce in July 2020 the PP hired him as a municipal advisor in the Majadahonda City Council. “The PP has shown to be capable of anything to stay in power. I know that they have come to use a person who was part of my narrowest circle, who has given unverified information about me with the only one in order to squander my public image “, believes the deputy of Cs.
“In Murcia we are subjected by a party that obtained 16 deputies [de un total de 45] And, unfortunately, this shows that you cannot confront the established power because both the related media and the party itself crush you. I have suffered a personal hunt when I have not questioned anyone’s personal life and I am free to do what I want. There have been very macho attacks. The day to day was practically unbearable, “he explains by phone to elDiario.es from the Region.
Martínez Vidal considers that Conesa has also been “mistreated” by the regional media, “but no one would have dared to speak ill of him from a personal or family level. I am a free woman and if I cannot rebuild my love life with 43 years that I’m going to let God come and see it, “he says in reference to the criticism received for his relationship with the current mayor of Ciudadanos in the Murcian municipality of Cehegín, Jerónimo Moya, after his divorce.
Woman, young and new to politics
The former leader of Cs in the Region entered politics in 2011 as a councilor for Infrastructures with the PP in the City Council of the capital when she had just turned 32 and had only been married for a year. “I perceived that as a young woman, a civil engineer and new to politics, my personal life was interesting. There were always comments about whether I was married or not. Women are observed much more than men. My physical appearance or my personal life than my professional career or my management, “he points out in a calm voice. Vidal has worked in the field of hydraulic works, has been a project engineer and works supervision, has drawn up projects for the General Directorate of Water, the Segura Hydrographic Confederation and the General Directorate of Coasts of the Region of Murcia, among others. .
“I have always felt that they have frivolized with my image and have wanted to sell a superficial side that does not exist. In this conservative and hypocritical society if you do not have children or a conventional family you are judged and questioned for everything. If the man is separated nobody comments on it. Some journalists have even asked me if it was true that I had a relationship with certain politicians, macho rumors with whom they tried to discredit me. No one wonders who López Miras has had a relationship with. [presidente de la Región de Murcia]”He adds on the other end of the phone.” Even at a meal with senior executives, they asked my colleagues in the government while I was present: But does this girl know what she’s doing? ”
The regional press has published articles examining, for example, their “ten politically correct ‘looks'” or political analysis in which they talk about “his firepower”. In other articles about his speech in the motion of censure or the situation in which the Murcian municipalities in which PP and Cs govern after the motion, they were illustrated with the photograph “of my partner and I giving each other a hug”. “It would be unthinkable for them to publish a hug from López Miras with his partner,” he insists. Other publications on the failure of the motion of censure were illustrated by a photo of their wedding. “Not to mention social networks, where I have suffered totally unjustified harassment from false profiles related to Vox and the most conservative part of the PP.”
Fiction or reality?
The “most painful” episode was the publication of a gruesome and morbid story entitled ‘The whip effect’ starring “the councilor Basurillas” and “the councilor of Obrillas”, with which Vidal felt identified, in August 2017 in a summer diary booklet The Opinion of Murcia written by journalist Ángel Montiel, a keen analyst of regional politics. “My stage in the Murcia City Council ended in 2015 and I published the article in 2017, when I did not hold any public position,” says the policy. Vidal won the trial against the newspaper and Montiel in the first instance in 2019 for “illegitimate interference in honor and personal and family privacy” since the judge understood that it was very identifying because she had been the only Councilor for Works in the Murcian consistory to date, but he lost it in the second instance in 2020 when the judge considered that it was a “fictional story.” That same year Vidal filed an appeal in the Supreme Court for “violation of honor and privacy”, the resolution of which he is awaiting.
Vidal underlines the seriousness she shows in her dealings with others, conditioned by the fact that she has always been immersed in a male world. “I have gone to a school with very few girls, at the University we were five girls in class and the rest were all men and when I was project manager I was often the only woman. I have always kept my distance as a defense mechanism to try that my professionalism was not questioned. ” It has not been of much use to him.