More than a thousand people from all over Spain have gone to the streets of Madrid this Saturday to protest against the condemnation of the Provincial Court of Guadalajara of a year and a half of prison and a fine of 16,380 euros against six young people of the association Fraguas Revive, a group that decided in 2013 to rebuild Fraguas, a town in the Sierra Norte (Guadalajara) abandoned and in ruins for more than 50 years. "The rural occupation is the solution", they have toned more than a hundred voices during the march. The spokesman for the movement, Isaac Alcázar, explained that his initiative "was not that of repopulate an abandoned town, if not an expropriated one " during the Franco dictatorship.
"The demonstration that we have convened has two reasons: to show solidarity with the accused and criticize the philosophy of the administration regarding the rural environment. Its recipe is industry and tourism. With these parameters you can not fix population, "said Alcázar. Along with a majority of young people, several hundred elderly people have come to the capital to show support for the discourse of the repobladores. A Santos Noguerales, retired neighbor of a neighboring town of Fraguas, it seems unfair that the Junta de Castilla-La Mancha force the squats, in addition to leaving the town, to pay the costs of the demolition of what they have built, about 30,000 euros, according to an expert opinion carried out by the Castilian Government of La Mancha. "The towns are emptied and above they want to throw these people who have built everything with their money. What they have to do is facilitate these projects, "said Noguerales.
In the demonstration, which began in the Tirso de Molina square, hundreds of inhabitants of rural villages have concentrated, some of which only one inhabitant lives. This is the case of Juan Ramón Vidal. For a few years, he has been resisting in Ures (Sigüenza). "There is no policy that favors the repopulation, the villages are emptied and end up abandoned and forgotten." Like him, other people have arrived from Soria, Zaragoza and Burgos. Like Ka Pascual, a sustainable rural house of the Sirra Collserola (Barcelona) that advocates the reconstruction of abandoned places.
After the ruling was issued last January, the accused decided to appeal to the Constitutional Court. The lawyer for the young people, Erlantz Ibarrondo, has commented that there is no "legislative certainty" that condemns, as the Provincial Court has done, the occupation and reconstruction of Fraguas. "If the Constitutional does not admit the remedy of amparo, it will return to the criminal court and will execute it. The Board will once again have the possibility of continuing with the destruction of the project or starting a dialogue stage, "said Ibarrondo.
With cowbells and batukadas, but also with theatrical performances, the attendees have shown their discomfort with the current situation that exists in the villages with low population. "Health care is insufficient and there is no work," says one of them. Away from the bustle of the drums, two retirees passing by stop and argue over the squatting. "I am from a town and it does not seem bad to me, if my house is not used, among young people to live there and to give life to the people. What happens is that the millionaires want us all to come and live in cities like ants, "he tells his companion while moving his hand energetically.
The area where the town is located belongs to the Junta de Comunidades of Castilla-La Mancha since 1969, when the Francoist government decided to expropriate forcibly the inhabitants of Fraguas through an "emergency procedure". The land, of 1,134 hectares, was classified as a "forest of public utility" and in 2011 it became part of the Sierra Norte Natural Park, a space protected by the Conservation Law. Ecologists in Action of Guadalajara have also walked with the demonstrators to show their support and emphasize that this type of projects have a strong ecological character. "Administrations invest in rural depopulation. This is an alternative and, without money, it is being done. Why are we going to put doors to the field? "Said environmentalist Sebastian Rivera.