The ‘Azud case’, the corruption that splashes popular and socialist Valencians and leaves IU clean

The Azud case, the summary of which was partially made public last week, has brought the País Valencià back to the times of the Camps suits, the Rita Barbera Smurfs, the millions of Alfonso Rus and the Zaplana commissions. The return is literal, since the presumed corruption crimes investigated by the Central Operative Unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard would have occurred between 1999 and 2013, at the height of the speculative euphoria caused by the real estate bubble.

Unlike other cases of that time, this police investigation shows an image of corruption that is much more transversal and entrenched than the topic of “pp thief“. In one way or another, all the existing parties in those years have been splashed, albeit collaterally, by the summary. And even some that did not yet exist. Although, obviously, the Popular Party has been the most affected, the Socialist Party is not far behind, which has some merit, considering the institutional power difference that both formations had at the time of the alleged crimes. Then, the PP dominated not only the Generalitat, but also the three councils and the vast majority of cities.

This police investigation shows a much more transversal and entrenched image of corruption than the topic of “PP thief”

However, the Civil Guard has accused the alleged successor of the PSOE, José Luis Vera, of having mediated with the mayor of Benicàssim at that time, the socialist Francesc Colomer, to develop an urban development operation in the Desert de les Palmes natural park, with the complicity of the religious order of the Discalced Carmelites. In addition to negotiations with socialist councillors, in opposition, in Valencia and Xixona. Although more tangentially, Compromís also appears in the summary.

The company of the historic leader of the Bloc Nacionalista Valencià -currently Més Compromís, the main formation of Compromís- Pere Mayor appears to be involved in a land reclassification operation in Burjassot to install a Eroski shopping center. The operation was never completed and it will not be investigated whether there was any crime, since, if there was, it would have already prescribed. Indirectly, even Vox has been mentioned in the plot. And that was really difficult, since the far-right formation would not be founded until 2013.

But the presumed main successor of the PP, the lawyer and brother-in-law of Rita Barberá, Jose Maria Corbin, had to be one of his star signings. With the departure of the Barberá family from the PP, which considered that the party had betrayed the legacy of the former mayor, some members of the family approached Vox.

Rita’s niece and Corbín’s daughter, Rita Corbín Barberá, sounded number two for València on the Santiago Abascal lists. The operation would be frustrated by the arrest of José María Corbín, a few weeks before the elections, when the Azud case jumped.

The United Left Exception

But the name of the formation that does not appear in the part of the 700 volumes of documentation declassified so far is United Left. Well, actually it does appear, but in a totally opposite direction from the rest.

The formation that does not appear in the part of the 700 volumes of documentation declassified so far is Izquierda Unida

In one of the emails intercepted by the UCO between the businessman Jaime Febrer, head of the plot, and the then urban planning councilor of Valencia and currently a PP deputy, Jorge Bellverthe builder complains that “the file has fallen into the hands of a certain Raúl, who is a very complicated United Left Planning technician and who goes by himself.”

So Febrer asks the councilman to intercede to change the official in charge of processing the file to speed up the procedure. “Jorge yesterday I received a mail from Mónica Montoro very worried, because the ED (…) Florentina does not handle it directly (…). Right now it is in the hands of a technician named Raúl. I know I’m a pain in the ass with this issue , but see if you can give him a quick solution and let Florentina take it directly. A hug. Jaime “, can be read in another of the declassified emails.

The documentation provided by the UCO does not specify if Bellver did the management or how, but “the anecdote” has been widely disseminated by different positions and militants of Esquerra Unida, in a demonstration that they “are not the same.”

More concerned in the PSOE than in the PP

Although the bulk of commissions and real estate operations involve administrations governed by the PP, the Azud case could hurt the socialists more than the popular ones. On the one hand, the PP electorate has already been totally anesthetized by the corruption scandals of their party and it is unlikely that this issue will take even more of a toll on them. These days the first trial has also started for the Imelsa case, which investigates the box B of the Valencian PPwithout the party showing traces of discomfort.

All these cases are considered “last water” and are written off. In the Azud case, furthermore, the only one involved who is still relevant to the PP is the deputy Jorge Bellver, while the rest are all out.

For socialists the situation is quite different. One of the main defendants -and imprisoned preventively for two months- is Raphael Rubio, councilor of the PSOE in Valencia at the time when he allegedly charged commissions of hundreds of thousands of euros for part of the plot. But it is that Rubio was an active deputy delegate of the Spanish Government at the time of his arrest, in addition to one of the key pieces of the current of former minister José Luis Ábalos within the party.

One of the main defendants -and imprisoned preventively for two months- is Rafael Rubio, councilor of the PSOE in Valencia

The presumed successor of the PSOE, José Luis Vera, was a person with relevance in the party to date. Hired as head of the legal services of the public company of the Diputación, Divalterra -after having gone through multiple charges- was not fired until this Thursday, months after the scandal broke.

Other names involved -although not accused-, like that of the former mayor of Benicasim, Francesc Colomer, are now part of the Generalitat government. To these facts we must add the performance of one of the party’s heavyweights, Manolo Matawho last July agreed to lead the defense of Jaime Febrer.

Despite the discomfort that the decision generated among his coalition partners and also within the Socialist ranks themselves, Mata chose to maintain the double task of deputy and socialist parliamentary spokesman, with that of a lawyer for an alleged corrupter of his party’s charges. “as long as possible.” When, with the partial publication of the summary, this was no longer possible, Mata opted to resign from his charges and return to his work as a lawyer.

Mata himself alleged “tiredness” from political activity and from his surroundings they confirm that “I had wanted to quit for a long time.” The motivation chosen to do so, however, has only provoked suspicion and surprise.


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