Spain hunger strike ends after mayor signs licence

LAST UPDATED: 27 May, 2007 @ 19:24
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Family of protestor thank those who showed support

A WOMAN who started a hunger strike in Spain after a local mayor refused her family permission to open a restaurant has ended her protest.
Ana María Loureiro stopped her 15-day strike on April 19 after the provincial council of Granada intervened on her behalf and asked the mayor of Carataunas in Andalusia to sign a document allowing work on the restaurant to begin.

Council leader Salvador Rodríguez had originally refused to sign a licence for renovation work on the building close to the Padre Eterno mountain chapel to begin, believing the project fraught with illegalities.

Relief

Speaking to the Olive Press, the 50-year-old described the relief her husband and six children felt on hearing the news their battle to open a restaurant was finally over.

“Super emotional was how you could describe how everyone was feeling. When we found out the licence was going to be signed everyone started crying: my husband and my children. I was okay, though.
“We felt the pressure and tension we had all been suffering lift from our shoulders. We also want to thank all those people who offered their support and showed an interest in our plight.”

Ana María explained how Cecilio Martín García, the Alpujarra representative in the Diputacion de Granada provincial council, personally asked the Carataunas mayor to sign the licence.

“My daughter took all the building’s documentation to Granada. When Señor Martín García saw the project was legal he immediately called Salvador Rodríguez and asked him to sign the document, which he did.”

Boiled potatoes

She began her 360-hour protest at midday on April 4 over the Salvador Rodríguez’s refusal to sign the document to allow work on the former butane gas warehouse to begin.

The Carataunas mayor had claimed the plot of land upon which the building stands invades a vía percuaria, a 125-000-kilometre national network of ancient cattle roads protected under Spanish law.

However, Ana María has documents from the Junta de Andalucía regional government discounting this. It states the cattle track is found to the west of the building.
She had told the Olive Press in the middle of her hunger strike how she only drank three litres of water a day and a teaspoon of honey in the morning and a teaspoon of sugar in the afternoon.

Following her protest, Ana María said the first thing she ate was boiled potatoes with a little olive oil. “I then moved onto biscuits and then vegetable stews. It was a while before I could eat meat, though.”

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