Six young people have been sentenced to a year and a half in prison and a total fine of 16,380 euros for squatting and illegally reconstructing since 2013 Fraguas, a town in the Natural Park of the Sierra Norte (Guadalajara), depopulated and completely in ruins for more than a year. 50 years old The ruling, released yesterday by the Provincial Court of Guadalajara, dismisses the appeal that the young people filed in August 2018, when the justice condemned them for the first time for a crime of usurpation and against the ordination of the territory.
The sentence forces them to pay each one 540 euros for the first offense and dictates a year and a half in jail and a fine of 2,190 euros for the second. They will have to pay "jointly and severally, the cost of the demolition of the buildings and facilities and the removal of waste and remains of the occupied farm," about 30,000 euros, according to an expert report conducted by the Castilian Government of La Mancha.
The Court believes that the defendants remained on the farm for prolonged periods "with (the) knowledge that they lacked administrative authorization, that the works they were doing" were not allowed and that "the public forests could never be considered a dwelling." In addition, the ruling estimates that they lived on the farm "against the will" of the owner, the Board of Communities of Castilla-La Mancha. Among the inventoried constructions, the sentence lists a roofed house, a warehouse, a plastic tent, a corral and a small shed.
After hearing the ruling, those affected confirmed to EL PAÍS that they are going to appeal to the Constitutional Court, although they have to study how to do it. "We have exhausted all the ways to appeal. Now we only have to present a cassation of amparo in the Constitutional Court and only accept 3% of those that come to them, "explained the lawyer of the six young people, Erlantz Ibarrondo.
"We will not move from here or pay the fine. We are freaking out The law against the planning of the territory was created to fight against speculation. We are a social movement, open and sustainable. We do not profit from this, "said one of the town's repobladores in ruins yesterday.
Fraguas Revive, name with which the group baptized the project of repopulation and reconstruction, began in 2013. According to those involved, they asked permission to the former inhabitants of the village. Later they began to talk with the Board, but "it did not go beyond the first conversations". That same year, they were denounced and the Civil Guard, in a registry, identified six young people who were in the town at the time. At first they were accused of damage to the environment, a crime punishable by four years in prison. Finally, the Board withdrew the complaint and the Office of the Prosecutor requested two years in prison for usurpation and an offense against the ordination of the territory.
The last inhabitants of Fraguas were forcibly expropriated in 1969 by the Francoist government through an "emergency procedure". The land, with an area of 1,134 hectares, was transferred to the Regional Government of Castilla-La Mancha. The Ministry of Agriculture classified the farm as "public utility forest" and in 2011 it became part of the Sierra Norte Natural Park, a space protected by the Conservation Law.