Madrid (EFE).- Almost three years after the start of the pandemic and the decree on the state of alarm, Amnesty International denounces the abandonment and the absence of justice after the death of 35,000 elderly people in residences.
The authorities have breached their obligation to thoroughly and adequately investigate the human rights violations suffered by the elderly people who lived in the residences, as required by international regulations, as well as the access of the victims and their families to an effective judicial remedy. , exposes in a report published this Wednesday.
«The abandonment suffered by families and impunity are evident in six state institutions. Neither the central nor regional governments, nor the Congress of Deputies, nor the State Attorney General’s Office, nor the Ombudsman, nor the General Council of the Judiciary have done their homework to change this situation and compensate the victims whose rights have been violated. », explains Esteban Beltrán, director of Amnesty International in Spain.
For the organization that defends human rights, it is necessary to reopen the cases filed by the Prosecutor’s Office and for the authorities to publicly acknowledge what happened with an act in which they commit to seeking the truth and guaranteeing justice and reparation for all the victims.
«I have felt abandoned, disappointed and something that I will never be able to understand: how a society can participate in a massacre of these characteristics, unique in a democracy, and that still no one has taken measures to ensure that justice is done and, above all, so that It will never happen again,” says Mercedes Huerta, a relative of one of the victims of the Madrid residences during the first wave of the pandemic and a member of the Truth and Justice Platform.
For Amnesty, the absence of adequate mechanisms and procedures to find out the truth about what happened in the centers continues today and there are no prospects that it will change, not even the instructions and protocols that prevented thousands of people from receiving health care.
“Amnesty International documented five human rights violations committed against older residents and no one has been held accountable. Specifically, for violation of the right to life, health, non-discrimination, private and family life and the right to a dignified death. What’s more, the situation could be repeated today if the pandemic worsens and a new state of alarm is decreed, “says Beltrán.
The organization denounces the opacity of the State Attorney General’s Office due to the non-existence of publicly accessible data of all the criminal proceedings in which it has intervened, nor what its action has consisted of.
He emphasizes that the only positive step was the official letter from the prosecutor’s office last October to guarantee that the families were heard in the investigations that are still open, although it should include archived cases.
It also exposes some progress in provincial prosecutors, such as the one in Mataró (Barcelona) that filed a complaint in April 2022 for reckless homicide, injuries and mistreatment against those responsible for a residence, or the decision of a Madrid judge to request the appearance as witnesses of former counselor Alberto Reyero and Carlos Mur, signatory of the protocols for the exclusion of referrals to hospitals.
The report regrets the obstacles on the part of the regional authorities to clarify the facts and points out that only in the Parliament of Catalonia has a Working Group been active to analyze what happened and discuss a new residential model.
Amnesty International recalls that it has asked the Ombudsman for an investigation monograph on the deaths that includes recommendations for authorities and that the General Council of the Judiciary has not followed up on the victims’ access to justice either.
Following the agreement reached on a new residential model, he points out that it is up to the regional governments to implement it, guaranteeing that the human rights of residents are respected and ensuring adequate financial and human resources.
“The authorities intend to turn the page on what happened, without taking into account that the truth, memory, justice and reparation are essential so that something similar does not happen again and human rights are guaranteed,” concludes Beltrán.