A thick, icy fog yesterday joined the mountains that surround Cortegana. It seemed almost like a metaphor of the feeling that settled in the minds of many of the more than 4,800 residents of this town in Huelva. The confirmation of the arrest of Bernardo, one of the brothers of the Montoya family, as presumed author of the death of Laura Luelmo in El Campillo "It has reopened wounds that were believed to be closed," according to a local woman who asks to hide her identity with the name of Ana.
Many in Cortegana recalled how the murders committed by Bernardo and his twin brother Luciano – they killed an elderly woman of 82 and a young woman of 35 in 1995 and 2000, respectively – ended with demonstrations and attacks on the Roma community of the town. "We already get along well, but this has created fear again and ghosts are being revived," adds another neighbor from anonymity.
It is difficult to find someone who give your name in Cortegana. The majority of respondents say they are afraid of family reprisals. It was not the case of Vicente Aguilera, spokesperson for the Roma community. "You have to call them vipers [por ambos hermanos], until they do not discharge their poison they do not stop ", he pronounces with serious face in his house in Las Eritas, where the majority of the calé community sits, of more than 200 people.
The Montoya are not from Cortegana. The twins, 50, were born in Badajoz. From there, the parents and nine children moved to Catalonia and arrived in town when Bernardo and Luciano were teenagers. Ana went to her class and still remembers her first sobering affair: "They burned the class in which we studied EGB". It was the beginning of a violent escalation that began to warm up when Bernardo killed Cecilia.
The murder perpetrated by his brother five years later and another violent death of a young man in 2005 they ended up exploding in a wave of attacks on the Roma colony that same year. "Here we have had a very bad time", adds Aguilera. In the center of the town an old man defends himself: "That was never racism. We have nothing against the gypsies, but those who came from outside to harm. "
Although Bernardo Montoya ended up sentenced to 17 years in prison and to a five-year exile, in Cortegana they are used to seeing him in the area, especially since he left prison last October. "On Thursday, one day after disappearing Laura, I saw him in the town square. He asked me for a cigar, "says a local at that same point. His reappearance revived fears that they thought were forgotten. "I stopped going alone when I found out I was loose," says Ana.
Now, with Bernardo arrested, the town has to deal with Luciano's release from prison. Since last weekend is free and, although no one has seen him by the people, and there are those who fear the worst. Just in case, his family – his father and three brothers who live in the town – can barely see each other. "Only the two are conflicting, the rest are good. But now we are also afraid that the town will turn against us again, "Aguilera says.