The Criminal Court number 4 of Seville this Friday held an oral hearing against the historical day laborer leader Diego Cañamero, former leader of the Andalusian Union of Workers (SAT), former mayor of El Coronil and former national deputy of United We Can; and against the former mayor of Puerto Serrano (Cádiz) Pedro Ruiz (IU), on account of his participation in informational pickets deployed in the Sevillian municipality of Montellano during the general strike of September 29, 2010, both being “acquitted” after the repeal of the criminal classification in which the accusation against him was based.
The lawyer of both, David Rodríguez, has explained to Europa Press that the two were accused of an alleged crime of article 315.3 of the Penal Code, directed against “those who, acting in groups or individually, but in agreement with others, coerce other people to start or continue the strike “, after Cañamero and Pedro Ruiz participated in informational pickets held at an institute and two schools in Montellano that day of the general strike. To this end, the Prosecutor’s Office claimed for each of them three years in prison and fines of 2,160 euros for the alleged commission of the aforementioned crime.
Criminalization repealed in April
However, and according to the defense attorney of both defendants, at the beginning of the session, the prosecutor in charge of the case has stated during the preliminary questions phase that by agreement of the General Courts, last April the aforementioned article 315.3 of the Penal Code, framed in the title relating to crimes against the rights of workers, an end that actually entered into force on April 24.
Given the case, as explained by the defense attorney, the Prosecutor’s Office has announced the withdrawal of his accusation and, as no other accusing party appears, the head of Criminal Court number 4 has announced in voce the resolution “acquittal” of the judicial procedure, an extreme that will have to be reflected in an official sentence.
Previously, the surroundings of the Noga building, which houses the aforementioned criminal court, were the scene of a concentration of the SAT in support of Diego Cañamero and Pedro Ruiz, a framework in which Cañamero has recalled that since 2009 he has exercised an attitude of “insubordination judicial “before the cases brought against him, with which he has not attended this oral hearing either.
A “totally informative” picket
After learning that the Prosecutor’s Office had decided to withdraw his accusation, the historic day laborer leader has defended that it was “untenable for the Prosecutor’s Office to continue with the request for three years in prison in a peaceful picket, where the Civil Guard was escorting the picket, which was totally informative”.
“If the prosecution wants there to be justice, that it takes care of other situations that it can do ex officio such as sexual harassment in the fields of Huelva (to the temporeras), the burning of shacks in the fields of Moguer and Palos de la Frontera and also in the greenhouses of Almería, “he asserted, demanding that the Public Ministry act” where human rights and the dignity of workers are not respected. ”
The current leader of the SAT, Óscar Reina, has opined on his side that the judicial proceeding against Cañamero and Pedro Ruiz proves that the judicial system “is not blind, but covers its eyes so as not to see reality or to see only that which it suits him, “claiming that the Civil Guard was” a witness to the events and did not make any report, “but nevertheless the Prosecutor’s Office filed an accusation against the aforementioned charges.
The backing of Podemos
The acquittal was celebrated by Podemos, whose Secretary General and Minister of Social Rights, Ione Belarra, pointed out in a tweet that “the right to strike never had to be classified as a crime,” a statement that has earned him not a few criticisms since both leaders were not prosecuted for exercising their right to strike, but for participating in an informational picket which was accused of coercion. In any case, Belarra defined the result of the judicial process as “good news”. “Congratulations for being a reference in the fight for labor rights against the gentlemen and caciques who live in the past,” he added.
From Podemos Andalucía, its secretary for Social Movements, Nicolás Sguiglia, stressed that “this acquittal highlights the repeal of a crime whose sole objective was the repression of workers’ representatives.”
Repeal with the vote against PP and Cs
The legislative reform that repealed this article and included the review of final judgments issued pursuant to it was addressed by the Congress of Deputies at the proposal of the PSOE, as an aspect agreed within the coalition agreement with United We Can, a measure supported by Esquerra Republicana (ERC), EH-Bildu, Junts, PDeCAT, CUP, Más País-Equo, BNG, Compromís, Teruel Existe and Nueva Canarias; while the PP, Vox, Ciudadanos, UPN and Foro Asturias voted against and the PNV, the PRC and the Canary Islands Coalition abstained.