A Torrox court has ordered the prosecution of 13 people alleged to have links to an illegal rubbish dump at Rio de la Miel which was allowed to continue unregulated between 1998 and 2016.  An estimated 800,000 cubic metres of waste of all kinds was allowed to accumulate at the site without any controls or recycling procedures in place.

The Court of First Instance and Instruction No 1 of Torrox last month issued a decree which ended the pre-trial stage of the case, opened a summary procedure and ordered the prosecution against 13 individuals, the Junta de Andalucía and Nerja Town Hall as those allegedly liable.

Among the individuals named are Nerja’s present mayor, Rosa Arabal of the PSOE, as well as her predecessor and mayor from 1995 to 2015, José Alberto Armijo of the Partido Popular who is now a Provincial Deputy.  Previous environment councillors Nieves Atencia and José Miguel Jimena, both of the PP, are included, along with the present councillor for environmental affairs, Jorge Bravo of Izquiera Unida.  This list is completed by Carmen Molero, secretary of the Environment Department, and representatives of seven construction companies.  Four former Nerja PP councillors, a former territorial delegate for the environment and 20 other business leaders have had charges against them dismissed.

Also dismissed were possible charges against the suspects of forgery and fraud.  A period is now open for the remaining defendants to submit their written responses to the charges being brought against them.

“those responsible did nothing to prevent it, despite it being on a specially protected bird reserve and in an area of special conservation.”

In its finding, the court asserts that during the 16 years the dump was open, “those responsible did nothing to prevent it, despite it being on a specially protected bird reserve and in an area of special conservation.”  The site was finally closed in September 2016 by Seprona, the environmental arm of the Guardia Civil, following allegations made by the Association of Waste Management Companies of Andalucía regarding the danger posed to underground aquifers.