This Friday she should have gone to a surprise party that she was preparing with other friends. But she is dead. The body of Rebeca Santamalia Cancer, 47, was found in Zaragoza in the home of José Javier Salvador Calvo who was on probation since January 2017 after serving 14 of the 18 years in prison to those who were convicted of having killed in 2003 to his wife.
Santamalia had been his defense attorney in that trial and also who had managed to get him released before the end of the sentence. His appeal then convinced the Judge of Penitentiary Surveillance, who granted Salvador Calvo conditional freedom despite the criteria against the prosecutor and the Treatment Board of Zuera prison, in Zaragoza, where he was held. The prison experts had highlighted in their reports that the "prognosis of social integration" of the prisoner was "unfavorable" because he still had to pay more than 300,000 of the 332,670 euros to which he was sentenced as civil liability to the relatives of his first victim, according to it is included in the court document to which EL PAÍS has had access.
The body of Santamalia – who was the mother of a 14-year-old son – was located at dawn on Friday at number 21 on Francisco de Pradilla Street in Zaragoza. He had stab wounds. The finding came after her husband reported his disappearance to the police, according to sources in the investigation. The agents first contacted the victim's sister, with whom she shared an office located barely three minutes from the floor where her body was finally found. The woman warned of the possible relationship between her sister and her client and facilitated the direction in which he lived. When no one answered the telephone or the door, the police contacted Ana Salvador, the only sister of the alleged murderer, who was the one who provided the keys to enter the house. It was 04.20.
That same dawn, the agents of a patrol car of the National Police observed a man walk through the viaduct of Teruel. He ran when the cops came towards him. They lost sight of him. Shortly after they discovered that he had thrown himself into the void. It was Salvador Calvo. In his pockets he carried the keys of a van and 1,200 euros, but no documentation. He had to be identified by the fingerprints. At that time, the police crossed both stories. Salvador Calvo appeared as the alleged murderer of the woman who had defended him 15 years earlier in the trial for the death of his wife.
January 1 Romina. A 44-year-old man confessed that he threw to the sea, in Lanzarote, the remains of his wife, 26. His body has not appeared.
January 3. Rebeca. A 29-year-old man stabbed his 26-year-old girlfriend in Laredo, Cantabria. Without prior complaint.
12th of January. Leonor A 50-year-old man stabbed his ex-wife, 47, before his 16-year-old son, who wanted to defend her. There were no previous accusations.
January 15 Stefani. The Civil Guard suspects that a 53-year-old man murdered his girlfriend, aged 60, in Llucmajor (Mallorca). They were found dead in his villa.
January 16 A 25-year-old woman is found in Meco (Madrid) stabbed. The police investigate if it was an attempted rape.
January 18 Rebeca. The murderer of his wife in 2003 stabs in Zaragoza to his lawyer with whom he maintained a relationship.
On May 22, 2003, eThis man who worked as a bricklayer killed his wife, Patricia Maurel Conte, 29, of a dozen shots with a carbine and left the corpse in a field near the town where they lived, Puebla de Híjar (Teruel). The young woman was candidate of the PP to the mayoralty of that municipality and was assassinated a few days before the municipal elections. Salvador Calvo, after pulling the trigger, went to Alcañiz and then with a friend to Teruel, where he confessed the crime. The victim's mother had reported him that night for threatening his daughter with death. The murderer also told his sister that he had killed Patricia. He was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Salvador Calvo was admitted to the Teruel prison in May 2003. The date set for the expiration of the sentence was June 10, 2021. In December 2011, a judge of Penitentiary Surveillance granted him the third degree of penitentiary or semi-liberty system. That allowed him to start enjoying permissions on a frequent basis and get a job out. That decision was made despite the unfavorable report of the Treatment Board of the Teruel prison, an organ formed by the director of the prison, the deputy director of treatment, the medical chief, a social worker, an educator and a chief of services in charge of studying the situation of each inmate and decide on their permits and to what degree they are sentenced.
In 2013, Salvador Calvo was transferred to the Zuera prison in Zaragoza, where he had a good behavior, according to penitentiary sources. Two years later, upon serving two thirds of the sentence, applied for parole for the first time, as reported yesterday by the Superior Court of Justice of Aragon. However, his request was rejected both by the prison and, subsequently, by the judge of Penitentiary Vigilance 2 of Aragon, Luis Pablo Mata Lostes, who considered that he did not meet the requirements for it.
A year later he again requested release and, before the new refusal of Prisons, appealed to the judge. It was December 2016 and he had already completed three quarters of the penalty – one of the requirements next to be classified in third grade and show good behavior set by law. Days later, Judge Mata Lostes granted it despite the fact that, in addition to the Penitentiary Institutions, the Prosecutor's Office also objected to receiving this benefit.
In the order for the release of Salvador Calvo, the magistrate justified his decision that he had been in semi-liberty for five years and that he had maintained "good behavior" all this time, in addition to having only one fourth remaining. part of the penalty imposed on him for the 2003 crime.
The judge also stressed that Salvador Calvo had attended in prison to "a specific program" of those that are taught to prisoners of gender violence for reintegration and had "consolidated work habits" that allowed him to obtain about 900 euros per month with which to pay the civil liability to which he was convicted. The order also highlighted that, in the six years he had been in the third grade, he had "enjoyed numerous ordinary and extraordinary exit permits without any negative impact." In addition, he considered that his only sister was "sufficient family support for his control overseas."
300 euros per month
On the main argument used by Prisons to deny him conditional freedom – the high amount of civil liability that still had to pay as it had only covered just over 27,000 euros, the judge considered that the release could help pay it with more speed. In fact, among the conditions imposed on Salvador Castro was the payment every month of at least 300 euros to satisfy it and to present proof of such income in court. He also prohibited him from leaving Spain without judicial authorization and the obligation to communicate any change of address. The prosecution, which had opposed the release, did not appeal the order and on January 5 the judge ordered his release. A little over a year later, he has become the alleged killer of the lawyer who had helped him out of prison. The name of Rebecca Santamalia appeared in the document that reflected that judicial decision.
Santamalia began her career as a lawyer in the office of Zaragoza criminal lawyer José Antonio Ruiz Galve, now deceased, taking criminal and family cases. The lawyer, well known in the guild, "always tried to reach agreements," recalled a colleague yesterday. A friend described her as a bright, progressive, very professional woman, who coordinated the penitentiary guidance services of the Bar Association, a service that the lawyers provided to prisoners free of charge for which the school of Zaragoza was awarded last September .
A total of 977 women have been killed by their partners or ex-partners since 2003. This year, which is just beginning, has already three deaths with this, and three other cases are being investigated. The 016 is the telephone number for the victims of machismo. It does not leave a trace on the invoices, but it must be deleted from the mobile.