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CRIME

Murder suspect claims León politician made sexual advances

Triana Martínez says she told her mother not to kill Isabel Carrasco despite harassment

Triana Martínez, the daughter of the woman who has confessed to shooting dead a politician in cold blood in 2014, on Wednesday told a jury that she had nothing to do with the crime despite the evidence against her.

“I told mom not to do it, I told her that I knew she was doing it for my sake, but not to get herself into that kind of trouble; I didn’t want to kill Isabel Carrasco,” she said Wednesday inside the León courthouse where the trial is taking place.

Isabel Carrasco, a Popular Party (PP) politician who wielded considerable power in León, was gunned down in broad daylight on May 12, 2014 on a footbridge over the river that runs through the city. A retired policeman witnessed the crime and followed the shooter, leading to the arrest of Montserrat González, her daughter Triana and the latter’s friend Raquel Gago, a local policewoman who allegedly concealed the murder weapon.

“She kissed me on the mouth, she came on to me, and I felt bad, I felt scared” - Triana Martínez

While the prosecution believes that mother and daughter planned the crime for months, Montserrat González, 56, has told the jury that she was solely responsible. She has also shown no contrition, saying she had to kill Carrasco because of the way she was persecuting her daughter Triana professionally and personally.

“In January 2012, when [Prime Minister Mariano] Rajoy decided to keep her [Isabel Carrasco] as PP leader in the province, I decided that I would kill her,” said González on Tuesday. “My daughter was in very bad shape, and Isabel Carrasco was going to keep making her life miserable. It was either my daughter or her. I have no regrets. I am convinced that if I hadn’t done it, I would have ended up going to my own daughter’s funeral.”

Montserrat González, who has confessed to killing Isabel Carrasco in May 2012. EFE

In court on Wednesday, her daughter Triana, 36, revealed that the 59-year-old Carrasco “hurt” her professionally and financially after the latter’s sexual advances during the Christmas holidays of 2010 got nowhere. This refusal by Triana, a telecommunications engineer, allegedly cost her a position that had been created specifically for her at the provincial council by Carrasco.

“The position was created for me and it was meant for me, but because I didn’t want to sleep with her, she made sure that someone else got the post,” she told the court.

The allegations of sexual harassment are a new development in a case where it remains unclear why both families, who were once close, suddenly grew apart.

A controversial woman

L. G. / J. A. R. / J. J. G.

Isabel Carrasco was a controversial figure who was routinely in the spotlight for her outspoken statements. In 2011 the conservative politician was accused by the Socialist Party in León of misappropriating public funds for personal use. An investigation conducted by EL PAÍS found her to be holding 12 jobs simultaneously, many of them symbolic roles, which brought her income of around €160,000 in 2010.

Triana Martínez, who was a member of the León Popular Party, was included on the PP’s slate for the municipal elections in Astorga in 2007, but was not elected councilor. That same year she began working in the Provincial Council of León as a telecommunications engineer, providing advisory work on matters related to high-speed internet and digital terrestrial television.

After her position was eliminated by Carrasco, she became involved in a legal dispute with her former employer, who claimed she owed €6,500 in wages that were erroneously paid to her. A court settled in the council’s favor.

“She kissed me on the mouth, she came on to me, and I felt bad, I felt scared,” said Triana. “She tried to touch me, she grabbed me from behind so I couldn’t break free. I managed to get up and said I wanted to leave, and she said no problem, but to think it over, because the [engineering] position had already been officially advertised, and if I stayed I had a lot to gain and very little to lose.”

This story, which the prosecution rejects as false, was apparently known to Triana’s mother but nobody else because, she said, she felt “ashamed” to talk about it.

Also on Wednesday, the jury heard testimony from the policewoman Raquel Gago, who denied having helped her friend conceal the handbag containing the murder weapon, as the prosecution claims.

“I certainly did not agree to let her leave it there [inside Gago’s car], I don’t know why Triana made that decision; all I know is that ever since that happened, I’ve had no life to speak of,” she told the prosecutor.

The prosecution wants all three defendants to serve 23 years for murder, assaulting an authority figure and possession of firearms.

English version by Susana Urra.

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