García Ortiz, the vocation reaches the top of the Prosecutor's Office
A prosecutor by vocation, struggled in town trials who made a name for himself in the Prestige macro-cause, where he led the accusation, will occupy the highest office on Fortuny Street. Álvaro García Ortiz (1967, Lumbrales, Salamanca) reaches the top of the institution to replace Dolores Delgado, "the boss", as he has called her all these years, since he was appointed head of the technical secretariat and packed his bags from Galicia, where he had worked for a long decade as delegated prosecutor for the Environment.
the attorney general resignation due to serious back problems that they have had her off for two months and that they will probably force her to go through the operating room again and she chooses a person she trusts the most. A discreet professional who has never liked the spotlight and who defends inward work much more than the big headlines.
The careers of García Ortiz and Delgado were linked forever in a van that traveled hundreds of kilometers through Spain four years ago, campaigning for the Progressive Union of Prosecutors in the institution's internal elections.
Also on that road and blanket tour was María José Segarra, the attorney general of the first government of Pedro Sánchez, when Dolores Delgado was Minister of Justice after the motion of censure that ousted Mariano Rajoy and Diego Villafañez, who was the right hand of Ortiz in technique all these years. Segarra had been received with a hostility rarely seen by the black-legged prosecutors of Madrid, representatives of the institution in the Supreme Court and the National Court, who saw in her a provincial prosecutor with no legal merits other than being on the rope of Delgado . Gripped by the pressure exerted in the race by the priests who have more access to the headlines and the directors of the newspaper, Segarra forgot to implement some of the internal changes that the team with which he participated in the Fiscal Council elections had agreed.
He no longer repeated in the Government of Sánchez after the elections and his place was directly occupied by Delgadoin a controversial decision because, despite the questionable appointments and the PP's newspaper library in the institution, never before had a minister left the Justice portfolio to rise to the leadership of the Prosecutor's Office.
In those internal elections of the van, García Ortiz had been the most voted prosecutor in the history of the institution, despite concurring with the Progressive Union cartel, a minority association when compared to the conservative Association of Prosecutors. In the last votes for the Fiscal Council a few weeks ago, he already lost that condition, although it is true that with a larger census, the result of the positions created in recent years.
García Ortiz will only have to change his office and move to Delgado's, with whom he has worked side by side in recent years. He inherits from her the modernization plan and also the internal enemies who have unleashed a furious campaign against the current team of the State Attorney General's Office, regarding the most diverse issues. In recent weeks they have even rejected the decree that obliges prosecutors to communicate if they are preparing oppositions, a second controversial activity, which has often been charged in envelopes and in money B. Ortiz relieves Delgado in the Prosecutor's Office, where he has been questioned from the outset, and his appointment was even appealed, and with the association where both are members in low hours, after clearly losing the elections against the Association of Prosecutors and giving a representative for the first time to APIF, an entity also conservative that until now had no representation on the Fiscal Council.
A few months ago, García Ortiz was accused of artificially lengthen an internal file against the anti-corruption prosecutor Ignacio Stampa, which carried very sensitive pieces such as the Villarejo case, where clients of the law firm of Baltasar Garzón, partner of the still attorney general, are accused. García Ortiz alleged that he limited himself to requesting steps that were foreseen in the internal investigation of Stampa, which finally came to nothing when he had already filled his position with a substitute.
Before the appointments, Stampa had not received a single vote in the Fiscal Council to revalidate his position, neither from the Progressive Union of Prosecutors, nor from the Conservative Association, in which he is a member. The vote of the body that represents the race is not binding, but Dolores Delgado avoided renewing the position of someone who had not received a single vote in favor, among 11, to continue in it. The support that Stampa supposedly had from the head of the unit, Alejandro Luzón, to continue in his position was not such either, as has been seen in recent months. The accusations against Villarejo continue their course and the prosecutor who accompanied Stampa is now working with new colleagues.
Despite this, Stampa's substitution was highly contested, especially outside doors. Those who know García Ortiz say that the ways of Stampa (and of other anti-corruption prosecutors who do have a fixed position) are far from the model of the Prosecutor's Office that both he and Delgado and the rest of the UPF team promised on that tour and want to represent: discreet work, away from the media, that is reflected in legal proceedings.
That is what Ortiz has dedicated these last two long decades to, first in the Balearic Islands and then in Galicia, where he achieved notoriety for being the prosecutor of the Prestige, a macro-cause of hundreds of thousands of pages that he instructed from his office in Santiago de Compostela facing legions of lawyers who defended the oil companies and the business conglomerate behind the old oil tanker. Despite some pressure from the Prosecutor's Office, and from a sector of the PSOE, García Ortiz refused to accuse the high officials of the Aznar Government responsible for the erratic crossing of the old oil tanker that dyed the Galician coasts black with its 80,000 tons of tar.
Very close to the squares where mass demonstrations against the PP were repeated, García Ortiz delved into reports and expert opinions and hundreds of thousands of pages to conclude that the environmental catastrophe was already guaranteed from the first crack in the tanker, which dumped dozens of of thousands of tons of fuel. The delegated prosecutor for the Environment in Galicia repeated to everyone then that he also had his opinion on the political management of the catastrophe, but that technically Aznar's senior officials could not be charged, because after the first spill the damage had already been done.
The attorney general at the time, Cándido Conde Pumpido, appointed by the Zapatero government and who is usually aligned with the PSOE's theses, respected García Ortiz's decision, amid a clamor of socialist voices who asked to seat PP officials in the bench for the greatest environmental tragedy in the history of Europe. The case has ended up in the Supreme Court, which has sentenced the ship's captain, Apostolos Mangouras, to two years in prison for disobedience and ecological crime, and recognizes compensation for 1,500 million euros.
Despite the fact that his appointment will bear the signature of Pedro Sánchez, García Ortiz knows more about Alberto Núñez Feijóo. Not so long ago the PP mounted a campaign for having participated in a round table organized by the PSOE on forest fires, in which university professors and economists also sat and which addressed technical issues related to fire prevention. The popular and their related media came to say that Ortiz, habitual in this type of days, had participated in a socialist rally.
Precisely, the issue of the fires has led to some of the most notorious clashes with Feijóo when he was president of the Xunta and accused alleged mafias and terrorists of setting the Galician mountains on fire. The president of the Xunta responded to the tens of thousands of hectares that were burned every summer, discharging responsibility on the State security forces that, according to him, did not arrest the members of alleged hidden plots that set the forests on fire. The argument of the arson terrorists was not even new: the Galician PP has been using it for more than three decades without the alleged members of these networks having been arrested, not even when Aznar and Rajoy were in La Moncloa and appointed Interior Ministers.
García Ortiz never responded publicly to Feijóo, the Prosecutor's Office did so, which attributed the fires to multiple causes, each area with specific problems, after investigating one by one all the large fires with specialized teams from the Civil Guard and the Autonomous Police .
The ceremony was repeated for years. Feijóo blamed the burned forests – and even those killed in the fires – on arsonists who were not stopped by the police. And in the autumn the reports from the Prosecutor's Office arrived, ruling out the existence of terrorists based on the reports made by the State security forces.
García Ortiz was in those in Galicia when he was commissioned by Dolores Delgado to move to Madrid to deal with the technical secretariat, which took over positions linked to the Progressive Union of Prosecutors. Despite the headlines that have intensified against him and a certain friendly fire caused by distinguished prosecutors who left UPF lamenting the drift of the association and Delgado's management, in recent years he has defended the quiet work that has been done in the Prosecutor's Office, the one that does not appear in press clippings or gatherings. He was still dedicated to this transformation when a couple of weeks ago he received Delgado's offer to replace him in the position. García Ortiz's objective is to modernize the career, especially within, and adapt it to the new times for when the day comes and it is the prosecutors who take on the investigation of cases in Spain and the judges act as arbitrators in the procedure. The pending reform of Justice in Spain.