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Spain domestic violence: Trail of death shocks society

January 19, 2019 11:20 am

A man who murdered his wife is believed to have gone on to kill his defence lawyer when they had an affair after he was paroled, Spanish officials say.

Jose Javier Salvador Calvo, 50, jumped to his death from a bridge in the eastern town of Teruel when a police patrol encountered him.

The case has fuelled the country’s debate about domestic violence.

Reacting to the deaths, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez vowed to continue tackling violence against women.

His tweet is seen as a retort to Vox, a far-right party influential in the southern region of Andalusia that wants to halt legal aid for women beaten by men, saying it unfairly favours the woman.

Patricia Maurel Conte, 29, was shot dead by her husband, Salvador Calvo, in May 2003 in the La Puebla de Híjar area of Spain’s north-eastern region of Aragon.

Released under licence two years ago, the killer began an affair with Rebeca Santamalia Cáncer, 47, the lawyer who had defended him at his trial, Spanish media report.

Police found the lawyer stabbed to death inside Salvador Calvo’s home in Aragon’s regional capital, Zaragoza, just after 04:00 (03:00 GMT) on Friday after her husband reported her missing.

A few hours earlier, around midnight, the suspected murderer had jumped from a bridge in Teruel, a town 150km (93 miles) to the south, after being spotted by a police patrol.

Local government representative Carmen Sánchez told reporters that the lawyer had been a victim of “gender violence”.

On Twitter, Prime Minister Sánchez said that four women had been murdered in Spain in recent days and there must be no retreat in addressing the “horror” of gender violence.

Last year in Spain, 47 women were murdered, four of them in Aragon, in crimes of gender violence.

The killing of teacher Laura Luelmo, 26, last month in Andalusia caused a wave of revulsion in the country. Her partially naked body had been found near a village after five days of searching.

A man living locally later confessed to murdering her after attempting to rape her, Spanish newspaper El País reports. The self-confessed killer, 50-year-old Bernardo Montoya, had previously served time in prison for murdering an old woman in 1995.

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