Apathy Rules At Arona Anti Corruption March

Politicians? If they said it was Monday I’d immediately check my calendar, I don’t trust any of them. Here in the municipality of Arona there is not so much an anger against the local council, more like a general tut tutting over the morning coffee. Legal cases have been brought against 34 local councillors of all political parties for alleged corruption but it’s all a long drawn out process that will run and run.

Long serving Alcalde (mayor) Jose Alberto Gonzalez Reveron of the Coalicion Canarias has come in for particular stick and is one of the charged. The main complaints refer to business licences granted between 2003 and 2007 and the latest revelation is that all parties have agreed to pay 140,000 euros for the defence of the accused politicians.Anyway against this backdrop a Anti Corruption march was called for Saturday 29 October, meeting up at the court building on the edge of Las Americas and marching to the Los Cristianos cultural centre.

I popped along to have a look, the roads were heavily marshalled by police and civil protection but the protesters only numbered around 200, including a coach bringing protesters from as far away as Icod and Candelaria. The group included families with small children, political groups such as Partido Communista del Pueblo Canarioand the Alternativa Nacionalista Canaria – oh and a few subversive looking dogs. The march was noisy with horns and drums as they moved slowly down one carriageway of Avenida de Chayofita past the sports centre before turning off for the cultural centre and speeches.

People in bars that they passed showed little reaction, preferring to watch football on television. Maybe we do get what we deserve, the local elections were on 22 May and only 48.5 % (myself included) of the Arona electorate turned out to vote, the lowest percentage in Tenerife. Meanwhile the court cases rumble on – slowly.