Thursday, January 27

The curator Victoria Landa will be the first female director of the Ertzaintza


The changes in the Department of Security motivated by the departure this Monday of the one who has been ‘number two’ for almost a decade, Josu Zubiaga, about to take office as a member of the Basque Court of Public Accounts at the proposal of the PNV, will motivate a woman to assume the leadership of the Ertzaintza for the first time in history. Internal sources consider this movement as “historical”. In addition, the position will go back to an agent for the third time after the precedents of Toño Varela and Gervasio Gabirondo. The chosen one is Commissioner Victoria Landa, who is the highest ranking agent in a traditionally masculinized body. He is currently authorized as mayor of the Vitoria police station. There is only one other female commissioner, Maite Salaberria.

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Landa has been in the body for more than three decades. She has received a national distinction as a policewoman and also a congratulation for the 2014 Mundobasket security plan at the Barakaldo headquarters, where the team that later became champions, the United States, played and which involved special protocols for NBA stars. . He has also participated in training activities at the Arkaute academy. During his time in Vitoria, he has stood out for going in the first person to supervise numerous complex operations, from visits by the Head of State to anti-riot actions.

The agent fills the gap left by Rodrigo Gartzia, who has barely been in office for a year. Gartzia, who had previously assumed other responsibilities in Security, is now promoted to Deputy Director of Josu Erkoreka. With Landa, the Government once again placed an agent in the political leadership of the Basque Police. The first case was that of Varela with the socialist councilor Rodolfo Ares in 2009 and the nationalist Estefanía Beltrán de Heredia -first woman at the head of the portfolio with the exception of the brief replacement of Idoia Mendia in 2012- repeated the model with Gabirondo, whose stage had great internal and union opposition. Under his command will be the police chief of the body, Josu Bujanda, the highest uniformed command.

The appointment has been delayed for a few days until another candidate is ruled out and this independent profile received the approval of the Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu. In addition, as it is not affiliated with the PNV, a consultation process with the Euzkadi Buru Batzar is required, which has already taken place recently at other times, such as when Magistrate Jaime Tapia was chosen as Prison Advisor or Doctor Nekane Murga as Health Adviser. .

The appointment shows the manifest desire of the councilor Erkoreka to promote the role of women in the Ertzaintza. He is now the fourth counselor with a plan of these characteristics. “Although the presence of women has been increasing in recent years, it is still much lower than desired,” he lamented in November in the Basque Parliament. On that date, there are 5,995 men and 1,046 women on the workforce, 85.14% and 14.86%, respectively. Also, that imbalance is more noticeable in some elite units. Only in recent years have patrols made up of two women begun to be seen in the streets.

The problem of structural inequality between the sexes in the Basque Police has a historical origin. At its creation, military service was required, which ‘de facto’ was a veto for women. With Javier Balza at the head of a portfolio then called Interior, the exact opposite was sought, setting a quota of 50% in the squares of the calls, both in those of access and in those of internal promotion. Judicial resources of the Sipe union overthrew that system and forced the councilors Ares and Beltrán de Heredia to look for other alternatives. In recent years there have been specific promotional campaigns to encourage young women to jump into the body, but with limited progress. In Spain, the Civil Guard also has a director, María Gámez.





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