One of two women arrested over the killing of a conservative Spanish politician in the northern city of León on Monday has confessed to the crime.
Montserrat González told the police that she shot Isabel Carrasco, a powerful political figure in the province, out of spite.
Carrasco, 59, the leader of the Popular Party (PP) in León since 2004 and head of the local Provincial Council since 2007, had fired González’s daughter three years ago.
It was Montserrat González who fired the shots that killed Carrasco in broad daylight on Monday afternoon, shortly after the politician had left her house to walk over to the PP’s headquarters in the city.
A witness told police that he saw González shoot her victim in the back, then finish her off as she lay in agony on a footbridge over the Bernesga river.
The mother, and possibly the daughter, are thought to have spent weeks planning the attack
González, 55, and her daughter Montserrat Triana Martínez, 35, who was also present, fled on foot to a nearby avenue, Gran Vía de San Marcos, where they were arrested.
Preliminary results from gunshot residue tests conducted on González suggest that she was indeed the person who fired the gun.
In another development in the case, a local policewoman turned in the alleged murder weapon on Tuesday night, following a futile search by investigators in the river and surrounding area. The officer, a personal friend of the alleged shooter, said the Taurus revolver had turned up inside the trunk of her car without her knowledge.The woman has also been arrested to determine whether she played a role in the crime, sources close to the investigation told Efe news agency.
Meanwhile, two Socialist councilors in Galicia have resigned after making offensive comments about the victim on social networks. Susana Carmiño, of the town of Vilagarcía de Arousa, in Pontevedra province, wrote on her Facebook profile that “I don’t want to make any comments, but you reap as you sow.”
Beatriz Martínez Sancho, from Meis, posted a message on Twitter that sounded like a warning to Carrasco’s counterpart at the Pontevedra Provincial Council, Rafael Louzán. “Be afraid, Louzán, be very afraid, because people are getting really desperate and the crooks who get rich on public money end up paying for it. This is starting to look like Sinaloa, ha ha,” she wrote, in reference to the Mexican state home to a powerful drug cartel.
Carrasco was a controversial and outspoken political figure
Carrasco was a controversial figure who was routinely in the spotlight for her outspoken statements. In 2011 she 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.
The primary witness in the investigation, a retired policeman, said he saw two women approach Carrasco on the footbridge. The older one was concealing her face with a cap and headscarf. There was no verbal exchange between the victim and the attacker, who shot Carrasco in the back before finishing her off. Both women then slowly went their separate ways. The retired officer followed the shooter and called the police, who arrested both women as they came together again in front of a parked Mercedes.
Investigators think the mother, and possibly the daughter, planned the attack for weeks and probably stalked Carrasco on several occasions, waiting for a day when she was walking by herself to pull the trigger.
A search of Montserrat Triana Martínez’s home yielded a second unused weapon and a small quantity of marijuana.
Two Socialist councilors have resigned over offensive comments they made about Carrasco's death
A police chief told EL PAÍS that the alleged killer had held a “personal grudge” against Carrasco ever since her daughter was fired in 2011 from the León Provincial Council, which the victim presided.
Until then, both families had been close. Montserrat González’s husband, who is chief of police in the town of Astorga, had repeatedly asked Carrasco to intervene in the council’s dispute with his daughter.
Monserrat Triana Martínez, who was a member of the León Popular Party, was included on the party’s slate for the municipal elections in Astorga in 2007, but was not elected as councilor. That same year she began working in the Provincial Council of León as a telecommunications engineer, assessing councils on matters related to high-speed internet and digital terrestrial television.
After her position was eliminated, she became involved in a legal dispute with her former employer, which claimed she owed €6,500 in wages that were erroneously paid to her. A court settled in the council’s favor just a few days ago.