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Saturday, February 4, 2023

The murder of the nightclub bouncer Álvaro puts a strain on living together in Peal de Becerro


“Murderer out. You don’t kill in Peal,” read Tuesday’s abandoned banners near the home of the suspected killer of Álvaro Soto, a nightclub security guard who was stabbed to death early Sunday morning after warning four young people that they couldn’t carry the crystal glasses into the street. With these words his life was taken. The death of Álvaro, 29, lit the spark in Peal de Becerro (Jaén), where almost half of the 5,300 residents took to the streets on Monday night to demand justice for the death of the nightclub’s young bouncer. The four involved in the attack were arrested.

The peaceful demonstration was followed by a protest by a minority of rioters who, bypassing police surveillance, overturned three vehicles, causing damage and leaving graffiti on several homes in the Peal Gypsy community, one of which was the object of a fire they had started the fire brigade down. Tensions shifted this Tuesday to another town, Puente de Génave (2,166 inhabitants), where two of the four released detainees had taken refuge.

The riots on Monday night ended without injury because the fifty members of the gypsy community who live in Peal had already left the town fearing anger from the neighborhood. Just hours later, the Guardia Civil arrested four people accused of Álvaro’s murder. The two eldest, aged 28 and 30, are clear of charges for not taking part in the brawl, which ended fatally, but the other two, two cousins ​​aged 18 and 20, did before Testified by the Court of First Instance and Order Number 1 de Cazorla, who has consented to entry into a temporary prison, communicated this without bail to the two men accused of manslaughter.

“We demand justice and that Álvaro’s killers pay for it,” commented Braulio and María Isabel, owners of the Triana bar, located a few meters from the pub where the security guard lost his life. “Look,” warns the owner of a pub with hardly any audience at lunchtime, “I won’t let the gypsies in here anymore, because when they come, they mess up and don’t want to pay, they’re attractors who don’t want to integrate.” After that, what’s happening in the city these days, this couple’s sentiment is shared by residents of Peal de Becerro, who not only demanded justice on Monday, but also demonstrated with shouts of “murderers, get out of town.”

Calm had returned to Peal de Becerro on Tuesday, although the tension in the city was still palpable hours earlier. According to the Civil Guard’s report on the events, after the peaceful demonstration, the protest was broken up by around 2,000 neighbors, but a thousand of them jumped the police device and entered Andrés Segovia Street, where the families of the suspected perpetrators of the murder were located. First, they overturned two vehicles and raided several Roma citizens’ houses (which were empty), causing property damage and writing graffiti against the Roma ethnic group.

Later, almost at dawn, another minority group went to Del Sol Street, where other Roma families live, although they had no connection to those arrested. And this is where the greatest damage occurred, the overturning of another car and the partial fire of a house. The Guardia Civil is keeping the procedure open for both the overturning of the vehicles and the fire in the house.

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dark and sad days

Residents of Peal de Becerro during last Monday’s demonstration against the death of a nightclub bouncer in the community.

The mayor of Peal de Becerro, David Rodríguez (PSOE), makes it clear that his community is living “the darkest and saddest days in its history”. Rodríguez calls for calm from his citizens, although he insists: “We will not stop until the perpetrators of the murder pay for Álvaro’s death.” The local community emphasized the “peaceful” nature of his compatriots’ protests and attributed the night’s incidents to “a very small minority”.

Almost all members of the Peal de Becerro Gypsy community have left the community. The two detainees, who remain at large on charges, had taken refuge in the house of relatives in the town of Puente de Génave, but the pressure from the citizens of that place also forced them to leave that town. Ramón Gallego, socialist mayor of Puente de Génave, addressed his neighbors this Tuesday, asking for calm and trying to break up an impromptu demonstration that had been called for on social networks. “Neither the city council nor I have allowed anyone to stay here (…) And now, don’t let the righteous pay for the sinners, because here the gypsy community has always been integrated with us,” said the councilman of Puente.

However, after expressing her disgust at the death of the pub’s bouncer, Kamira has applied to the Confederation of Gypsy Women’s Associations for protection for the community’s Gypsy families. “The events that have transpired in no way justify the demonstrations that have taken place against the community of Peal, amid calls of ‘murderers’, or the threats that have prompted several families to temporarily evacuate the community for fear of reprisals moved away from the city,” reads the statement from the Kamira association, which also asks not to stigmatize the Roma community.

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Source elpais.com

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