On the afternoon of May 12, 2014 Isabel Carrasco's life ended when she was shot three times while crossing a footbridge over the Bernesga river in the city of León, Spain. Today the three women accused of plotting and carrying out the killing were found guilty of murder.
Carrasco, 59 at the time, was a prominent conservative politician from Spain's governing People's party. The El País newspaper reported that on the day of her death, "Carrasco had left her home just before 5pm, accompanied by her partner. Both were headed to the nearby Popular Party headquarters, but her partner decided to travel there by motor scooter in order to deal with some other matters in the city later.
"When he arrived at the PP headquarters and realized that Carrasco was not there, he decided to go in search of her, soon arriving at the crime scene, where the authorities were already working."
The shooting was witnessed by a retired policeman who happened to be walking nearby. He followed the shooter, a woman whose face was covered with a scarf. This led to the arrest of Montserrat González and her daughter Triana Martínez, respectively the wife and daughter of a local police chief, Pablo Antonio-Martínez. Soon after a third person was arrested: family friend Raquel Gago, a local policewoman who is said to have rendezvoused with the other women in order to receive the murder weapon and conceal it.
According to the Diario de Léon, 56-year-old González confessed that she had been planning the attack for a while as revenge for the way her 36-year-old daughter had been treated. In 2011 Triana Martínez was dismissed from a temporary position which Carrasco had arranged with the León provincial government and she was replaced by someone else.
Carrasco, who Spanish media referred to as the most powerful woman in León, was according to El País, "a controversial figure."
Indeed, 'La Carrasco' could not be described as universally loved. In the days immediately following her murder, memorial flowers on the bridge were replaced with graffiti reading, among other things, 'Here died a despot.'
From 2004 until her death she led the local branch of the party and in 2007 she became leader of the provincial government. Then "in 2011 the conservative politician was accused by the Socialist Party in León of misappropriating public funds for personal use. An investigation conducted by El País found her to be holding 12 jobs simultaneously, many of them symbolic roles, which brought her income of around €160,000 in 2010.
"Triana Martínez, who was a member of the León Popular Party, was included on the PP’s slate for municipal elections in 2007, but was not elected councilor. That same year she began working in the Provincial Council of León as a telecommunications engineer, providing advisory work on matters related to high-speed internet and digital terrestrial television.
"After her position was eliminated by Carrasco, she became involved in a legal dispute with her former employer, who claimed she owed €6,500 in wages that were erroneously paid to her. A court settled in the council’s favor."
This settlement was made only a few days before the shooting.
During the murder trial, Martínez claimed she begged her mother not to commit the crime and made some sensational claims about Carrasco's sexuality.
“I told mom not to do it, I told her that I knew she was doing it for my sake, but not to get herself into that kind of trouble; I didn’t want to kill Isabel Carrasco,” she told the court.
Regarding her work with the provincial government, she had the following to say: "The position was created for me and it was meant for me, but because I didn’t want to sleep with her [Carrasco], she made sure that someone else got the post."
"She kissed me on the mouth, she came on to me, and I felt bad, I felt scared. She tried to touch me, she grabbed me from behind so I couldn’t break free. I managed to get up and said I wanted to leave, and she said no problem, but to think it over, because the position had already been officially advertised, and if I stayed I had a lot to gain and very little to lose.”
This story of sexual harassment had never been heard before this week and was rejected by the prosecution as false. Martínez allegedly only shared it with her mother because she felt "ashamed" to talk about it with anyone else.
As for González, she revealed that "in January 2012, when [Prime Minister Mariano] Rajoy decided to keep her [Carrasco] as PP leader in the province, I decided that I would kill her. My daughter was in very bad shape, and Isabel Carrasco was going to keep making her life miserable. It was either my daughter or her. I have no regrets. I am convinced that if I hadn’t done it, I would have ended up going to my own daughter’s funeral."
Perhaps the only thing that everyone agrees on is that the police chief was kept in the dark about the murderous plans of his wife and daughter, who the jury heard were in the habit of confiding in each other and concealing things from him. After quickly stepping down from his position, Antonio-Martínez was assigned to a bureaucratic post in the city of Gijon, Spain, where he remains.
The prosecution has requested sentences of 22 years in prison for mother and daughter and 15 years for their accomplice.