Home CULTURE Corruption thwarts equality aspirations in the civil guard of its first director general

Corruption thwarts equality aspirations in the civil guard of its first director general

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The first director general in the history of the Civil Guard, María Gámez (Sunlúcar de Barrameda, 54 years old), submitted her resignation this Wednesday, accompanied by four lieutenant generals. “I have called to inform you of my resignation as General Director of the Civil Guard, after learning that my husband has been summoned in the framework of judicial proceedings”, she said in order to avoid possible lynching of her family. Justified, upbeat and determined. and armed institutions have also been linked to corruption in recent weeks arbitration case and to Barracks issue.

Three years and two months ago, he took office at the headquarters of the General Directorate of the Civil Guard, preceded by a large formation of the Guard and with the presence of the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlasca, who appointed him. “I’m a feminist. I believe in the equality of men and women (…) equality would be an objective in a body in which there are 5,840 women, 7.62%, a clearly insufficient percentage that should also rise to command positions”, all this was a declaration of intent. Today women in the armed establishment account for only 9%, but the amendment to the personnel governance law intends to reserve a percentage of seats for women who present themselves in opposition to the force, which would mean a “change of paradigm”. , according to some high command of the body. One text, “Maria’s great bet”, as described by her close aides, “remains in the air for now” in the process of parliamentary approval, others point out.

Nothing foreshadowed on January 22 that a global pandemic was just around the corner. that a few days after March 8, when feminism returns to crowd the streets of the country’s main cities, the three-month confinement will begin and that the Civil Guard, like the rest of the state security forces and bodies, should be on the front lines . “Gemez called more than 600 agents, who were admitted to the hospital one by one.” It began with what for some generals the consultation means a “before and after” in the direction of an institution of military origin: “a much more humane treatment, Maria has given humanity to this institution,” he says.

        María Gámez, moments before presenting her resignation this Wednesday.
María Gámez, moments before presenting her resignation this Wednesday. Alejandro Martinez Velez (Europa Press)

Cautious since his arrival, Gémez found himself mentored by the body’s professional technicians and studied the institute from the inside. Demonstrating his sympathy, despite experiencing the worst of the pandemic with the dismissal of Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos, he managed to gain the trust of some generals and the loyalty of the rest, after discovering that a The unit was investigating the authorization of the performance of that 8-m before the status of alarm for Covid-19, the Judicial Police of the Madrid Command directed by him. Gamez gets the colonel off the phone. and then he had to face his resignation number two, Lieutenant General Laurentino Cena, operational deputy director of the Civil Guard. She miraculously escaped serious trouble, shielded by Minister Grande-Marlasca, who on Wednesday extolled her as “the best director of the Civil Guard ever”.

Windy and determined, once the pandemic was over, Gemez got to work. And, although almost nothing was plastered in the media, what he did do was tour 54 command posts in Spain and try to raise money to rehabilitate Spain’s abandoned barracks, to help stem the demographic bleeding. In an effort that was devastating these populations. and to dignify the work of watchmen in rural settings. and, amid these works and openings, and the construction of some new barracks, “when it began to be established”, an outbreak of arbitration case – An alleged network of influence peddling, money laundering and documentary falsification, in which General Francisco Espinosa is being investigated – and case of barracks An alleged job-fixing plot at the facilities of the Armed Forces Institute. “It all came to light precisely because the institute was being cleaned up of the mess that had been left behind,” say Gemez’s aides.

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Maria Gamez, during the press conference, this Wednesday in Madrid.
Maria Gamez, during the press conference, this Wednesday in Madrid.Javier Lizon (EFE)

In the pipeline or pending that his successor, Mercedes González, by now the representative of the Madrid government, takes over, remains an “experienced plan” to accommodate men and women who are considered very important assets; o plans for the improvement of wellness and healthy activities as a basis for the professional career of future guards; Or a new museum of the Civil Guard, capable of bringing the institution “looking to the future, closer to what we could be, and less to the past and what we were”, says one of the commanders who is with him In these initiatives to transform the body.

“These three years there has been more firmness and determination on the big issues,” says Juan Fernandez, president of the Unified Association of Civil Guards (AUGC). “However, it is now that he is leaving when more far-reaching changes in internal management should have been implemented, such as amendments to the Military Penal Code, technological digitization… We are left with only a painted facade” .

Gámez will undoubtedly go down in history as the first woman to lead the Civil Guard, but perhaps, if her projects prosper, she will do so as the first to open a new path in that institution.

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