Santa Cruz de Tenerife (EFE).- The Tierra Bonita association has filed a criminal complaint against those responsible for the volcanic emergency in La Palma in 2021 before the Courts of Los Llanos de Aridane for the alleged commission of the crimes of prevarication, injuries and damage.
In a statement, the complainant association justifies its initiative in the courts in the “lack of protection measures for people and animals” in the volcanic catastrophe of La Palma, more specifically, because the affected population was not evacuated despite the “imminent risk of eruption.
In the complaint, presented by the Martínez-Echevarría law firm, they request that five people be summoned as investigated, both public officials and scientists, although the association does not specify who in the statement, and another seven as witnesses.
The complaint, says the Tierra Bonita association, has the support of the Citizen Initiative to Support those Affected by the Eruption and the Agua para La Palma Association, and it is expected that other affected individuals will also appear, both individually and collectively.
With this legal action, the complainants point out, they intend to “demonstrate that the eruption, although it was inevitable, was indeed foreseeable, in terms of civil protection, but the opportune measures that would have reduced material damage and the health of the population were not adopted, as well as the animals.
In addition, “thousands of people would not have been exposed to a serious risk of death.”
The complainants argue that the necessary measures were not adopted against the volcanic risk to guarantee the life and health of people and their assets, to the point that “a general preventive evacuation was not even carried out” before the eruption despite the “very obvious objective signs of its imminence”.
This “omission of the duty to ensure the safety and health of the inhabitants and the animals” evidences, in the opinion of the complainants, a “negligent, reckless, reckless and criminal” action by the authorities.
This resulted in “serious damage”, not only with the loss of property, by not having allowed citizens to have “a prudent time to safeguard them, including the subscription or improvement of insurance policies”, but also “in health and on the emotional and psychological well-being of citizens.
The complaint compiles statements from scientists who are members of PEVOLCA and from scientific institutions involved in this emergency operation.
The Tierra Bonita association abounds that the refusal of the Canarian Government to make known to those affected the recordings and minutes of the scientific committees and the director of PEVOLCA, as well as “the contradictions and changes of version” in which some of these have incurred experts in public interventions after the eruption, is due to the “attempt to hide that this alleged negligence occurred.” In addition, the island did not have a public shelter for animals. This meant that, as a result of the eruption, all the burden of rescue and care fell on associations and volunteers, without an official plan or protocol organized by the political authorities that had to assume this responsibility. EFE