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Diana Quer's father to lead pro-life imprisonment demonstration
A DEMONSTRATION organised by families of murder victims will take place on Sunday in the south-western city of Huelva against the decision to scrap reviewable life imprisonment forced by the opposition in Parliament.
Juan Carlos Quer (pictured), father of Diana, 18, who was raped and murdered whilst on holiday in Galicia in August 2016, set up a petition on Change.org for permanent prison to remain amid fears the opposition – who are in a majority – would vote to axe it.
He will be at the demonstration in Huelva, probably with his surviving daughter, Diana's younger sister Valeria who was 16 when the young woman was kidnapped and killed walking home from the town fiestas in the dark.
The petition is backed by the parents of Marta del Castillo Casanueva who, aged 17 in January 2009, was murdered by her ex-boyfriend Miguel Carcaño, then 20, and who has always refused to reveal what he did with her body.
Ruth Ortiz, whose children Ruth and José, six and two, were murdered by their father, her ex-husband José Bretón, as 'revenge' for her divorcing him, along with the parents of five-year-old Mari Luz Cortés, who was killed by a paedophile, and Rocío Viétez from Galicia, whose ex-husband David Oubel murdered their two young daughters Candela and Amaia, are also behind the petition and will be at the demonstration.
Huelva has been chosen since it is the home city of Mari Luz and of Ruth and José Bretón Ortiz.
Another demonstration will take place on Saturday in Madrid, and Diana Quer's mother, Diana Cristina López-Pinel, is expected to attend – the first appearance she has made in public since her daughter's funeral in January.
Patricia Ramírez and Ángel Cruz, parents of eight-year-old Gabriel who was murdered by the latter's girlfriend Ana Julia Quezada on February 27, are likely to join in.
Whilst the reigning right-wing PP government wants to retain 'reviewable life imprisonment' in accordance with the law it passed in 2015, and Juan Carlos Quer has been assured by centre-right Ciudadanos – Spain's fourth-largest political force – of its own support, the remainder of the opposition does not consider it appropriate and has used its Parliamentary majority to call for its abolition.
They, along with the solicitors who have signed an open letter against permanent prison, say Spain is a country of solidarity, not vengeance, and that this has been seen in the public reactions to the recent death of Gabriel Cruz in support of his grieving parents.
Also, they claim life imprisonment would not have saved Gabriel, despite victims' families insisting that keeping notorious killers, rapists and paedophiles off the street could save others in the future.
A survey has found that eight in 10 Spaniards agree with reviewable life sentences, and Juan Carlos Quer's petition has netted over two million signatures.
Juan Carlos himself says he is not in favour of 'life means life' without some review system in place, and that this is what he and other victims' families are fighting for.
“If José Enrique Abuín Gey [Diana's rapist and murderer] were to be fully rehabilitated and genuinely remorseful, I'd be the first to agree he should get a second chance,” Quer stated.
“But this isn't about revenge; it's about protecting our children.”
Eight criteria exist for reviewable life imprisonment, which include murders where rape, kidnap or torture are involved, hindering police searches and the recovery of the body, or where the victim is under 18 or especially vulnerable.
Elsewhere in Europe, between 20 and 26 criteria exist.
“Politicians need to listen to what the people want – this is a request made by society,” Quer stresses.
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