Spain’s far-right party, Vox, has made headlines after two party officials made sexist remarks in response to a court decision involving a high-profile gang rape case known as La Manada.
After the Supreme Court on Friday raised the prison terms for five men who sexually abused a young woman at the 2016 Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Vox’s president in the Andalusian parliament, Francisco Serrano, said in his personal Twitter account that the ruling had been conditioned by political and media pressure.
Francisco Serrano, Vox president Andalusia
Serrano, who once worked as a judge but was barred for two years in 2011 in connection with a child visitation rights case, later added on his Facebook page that “the safest relationship between a man and a woman will only be through prostitution. From now on, the difference between having sex for free and paying for it, is that free sex could cost you more.”
In response, the party’s parliamentary spokesman in Andalusia, Alejandro Hernández, said on Twitter that Vox has “absolute respect for the court’s decisions” and “has long been requesting tougher sentences for rape crimes.”
Later, the party underscored in a statement that Vox’s official position in Andalusia is the one expressed by its spokesman, not by other party members in their personal social media accounts.
In his Twitter thread, Serrano said that according to case law, it is a violation of the right to due process for an appeals body to convict an individual who was acquitted by the original court. He goes on to say that in the case of La Manada, “we are again seeing a ruling conditioned by political and media-related factors that will end up before the Constitutional Court. It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last.”
Later, on Facebook, Serrano discussed “the progressives’ paradox: the safest relationship between a man and a woman will only be through prostitution.” He also claimed that “going soft or not performing to a woman’s expectations could end in prison.”
“You can tell that this is a ruling dictated by the feminist supremacist mob,” he wrote.
Justice minister called a “whore”
Meanwhile, Vox’s parliamentary spokesman in the Murcia region, Juan José Liarte Pedreño, on Sunday posted a Facebook message filled with insulting descriptions of Justice Minister Dolores Delgado.
Pedreño, a lawyer, called Delgado a tiparraca (loosely meaning a despicable woman) and an embustera (a liar). He also wrote that “de una p*** [puta] solo se pueden esperar putadas,” or “all you can expect from a whore are dirty tricks.”
The public prosecutor has said that it will analyze whether the statements should be criminally prosecuted. Liarte has since deleted the post. Delgado herself has criticized the fact that neither the Popular Party (PP) nor Ciudadanos, which have recently entered into governing deals with Vox, have rushed to condemn these statements.
Spain’s acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez of the Socialist Party (PSOE), came out in Delgado’s defense. “Sexism and insults should have no presence in politics. Those of us who work as politicians have an obligation to lead by example,” he wrote on Twitter.
Murcia is the Spanish region where Vox attracted the largest share of the vote at the general elections of April 28, when 18.64% of Murcianos supported the far-right party.
English version by Susana Urra.