1709042802 The alleged perpetrator of the vandalism that destroyed the Ciudad

The alleged perpetrator of the vandalism that destroyed the Ciudad Lineal feminist mural faces the judge over the paint cans Spain

The alleged perpetrator of the vandalism that destroyed the Ciudad

The trial of Luis Felipe Ulecia (29), a Vox activist who allegedly destroyed the feminist mural in Ciudad Lineal on March 8, 2021 – coinciding with International Women's Day – began this Tuesday in the Provincial Court of Madrid. Although the alleged perpetrator has denied the facts, the public prosecutor's office is sticking to its request for three years in prison for two crimes against dignity and against artistic heritage. The verdict will be announced in the coming days.

The mural, created to honor some female references such as Rosa Parks or Frida Kahlo and to make visible the fight against gender violence, woke up that day with black spots of paint covering the faces of most of the protagonists. In addition to the graffiti, the place awoke with a manifesto in which… revolution – a youth organization that spreads right-wing extremist messages on social networks – took responsibility for the action. In the note, they called feminism “one of the worst things of our time.” However, the next day the group issued a statement claiming that while it had taken responsibility for the manifesto, it had nothing to do with the black color.

When asked about his position on the feminist movement, the defendant admitted that he “shares” the position of Santiago Abascal's party regarding “certain ideologies that have nothing to do with women.” It should be recalled that the alleged author was deputy secretary of Youth of Vox and came 12th in the far-right candidacy for the Madrid City Council in the previous local elections.

In addition to the manifesto, several paint cans, paint rollers and various materials were left at the scene that would ultimately be essential to the police investigation. The defendant, owner of a maintenance company, claims that the day before the incident he bought a large amount of paint and rollers, as was customary every Monday due to his job, and that everything was a “coincidence” in which nothing happened have to do with it.

One of the main pieces of evidence would be that the paint used was purchased with the defendant's bank card. The police officers tasked with conducting the investigation have stated as witnesses that after Revolutio's statement distancing themselves from the events, they focused on the only remaining clue: the paint cans and materials left behind. in the town.

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After checking the origin, they concluded that it was white label, only available from Leroy Merlín. After speaking with the company's security coordinator, the company compared the products in its transaction history and used the barcodes to find a ticket for a virtually exact purchase made with a bank card that referenced the defendant. This coordinator explained that it was a very atypical purchase given the quantities and that the product references were clear.

Although the defendant has claimed that the unattended products did not belong to him, Leroy Merlin's security coordinator told police that the reference numbers on the tickets were individual because the color was mixed at the customer's request. The latter would rule out a coincidence since the reference number of the paint cans would not be generic but exclusive to this purchase and this customer.

Outside the doors of this judicial headquarters, members of the feminist collective Ciudad Lineal have demanded justice, saying the events constitute an “attack” on women. “I felt sad and felt labeled as a woman,” one of them emphasized as he left the trial.

The political context before the events ensured that the “Ciudad Lineal” mural became controversial. In January 2021, Vox council member Miguel Moisés Rodríguez presented a proposal to replace the feminist mural with another depicting female Paralympic athletes. The proposal was adopted with the support of PP and Ciudadanos, and the mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez Almeida, spoke in favor of removing the mural. Neighbors quickly mobilized to save the mural, and Más Madrid filed an emergency petition. The criticism caused Ciudadanos to change their position and, together with the support of the PSOE, they managed to allow the feminist mural to be retained.

The act of vandalism had international repercussions: even the British newspaper The Guardian repeated it with a chronicle by its correspondent in Spain. The trial has been heard for sentencing and the final verdict will be announced in the coming days.