Madrid (EFE) workers in “degrading” and harmful conditions”.
On March 10 and 17, the Criminal Court number 21 of Madrid will hold the trial of José Ramón Mérida Velasco, former director of the Department of Human Anatomy and Embryology II of the Faculty of Medicine of the Complutense University, for the facts known in 2014 , when a newspaper revealed the conditions in which dozens of corpses were piled up.
The head of the Investigating Court number 37 of Madrid prosecuted Mérida in July 2019 for a crime against the rights of workers, according to the order to transform previous proceedings into an abbreviated procedure, in which she archived the proceedings for the rest of the cases. investigated.
Facing the trial, the Public Ministry accuses this former director of the Complutense of a crime against the health of workers for which it requests three years in prison for him, and five crimes against moral integrity for each of which he requests one year of imprisonment. jail.
As civil liability, the Prosecutor’s Office claims a total of 277,258 euros for the five technicians affected.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office maintains that the prosecuted doctor, despite the repeated complaints of the workers for non-compliance with their obligations in terms of health and safety, forced them for years to provide their services “in unhealthy, degrading, harmful and dangerous conditions”.
It was like this until the Labor Inspectorate ordered the stoppage of work in 2014 and finally 534 corpses were extracted from the basement, details the Prosecutor’s Office.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office denounces that Mérida was primarily responsible for the direction, control, and surveillance of the working conditions of laboratory technical personnel, and that it subjected the workers “to unnecessarily degrading painful conditions that transcended the labor sphere,” disregarding “systematically” for years its “just” demands.
It forced them -he stresses- to provide their services in a basement without ventilation that lacked the most elementary hygiene conditions “to the point that the presence of insects, worms and larvae was frequent surrounded by human remains piled up anarchically and submerged in the permanent stench of putrefaction.”
The workers plunged “into a state of hopelessness that caused alterations in the perception of the reality that surrounded them, in such a way that they accepted as inevitable and normal a situation that, objectively, constituted a permanent violation of their dignity as human beings.” .
When the workers complained about the excess of corpses and the poor conditions, their response was: “The doors are closed and nothing is said,” arguing that taking the bodies to another site “was very expensive.”
In May 2014, a newspaper showed photos of the facilities with overcrowded corpses and the defendant warned them that “that way” they were going “wrong” and that when he found out who had leaked it “he would find out.”
When he found out that on May 20 of that year the Inspection was going to visit the center, he reproached its technicians for not collaborating in the tasks of destroying corpses and toxic effects, the Prosecutor’s Office concludes.