Updated Friday, February 23, 2024-13:29

  • Sentence Four years for prevarication.

The Provincial Court has issued an order for the voluntary entry into prison of the former manager of the Mérida International Classical Theater Festival, Pedro Manuel Salguero, who was sentenced to four years in prison and 20 years of disqualification for

continued crimes of embezzlement of public funds and administrative prevarication

between 2008 and 2011 in the Emeritus contest, in which he held those functions as head of Administration since 2006.

The Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court confirmed in May of last year the 2021 ruling of the Provincial Court of Mérida, which sentenced the former PSOE councilor in Calamonte (Badajoz) as civil liability to compensate

the Consortium of the Board of Trustees with

208,600 euros.

Festival and another 12 years of special disqualification for employment or public office.

Salguero was already in prison in 2018, sentenced to two years in prison as manager of the Extremadura Orchestra.

For years he combined that position with that of head of administration of the Theater Festival.

Then, he was convicted of misappropriation of 111,700 euros and

served 91 days in prison

, between the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, upon obtaining the third degree.

The Calamonte City Council, where he had been Councilor for Culture between 2003 and 2007, offered him a job that facilitated his release from prison.

The former head of the event's finances was reported to the Prosecutor's Office after the change of government in Extremadura in 2011, which brought José Antonio Monago (PP) to regional power for the next four years.

At that time, Jesús Cimarro became responsible for the festival - he continues to lead it today - with the task of saving a festival that was then on the brink of disappearance, with

an accumulated debt, as of February 27, 2012. , more than four million euros

(including 605,980.95 euros of non-payments to the Tax Agency).

"I asked [Salguero] for a balance of the accounts and he gave me half a page," Monago then warned, whose executive reported the former manager to the Prosecutor's Office.

When he was informed of his dismissal, Salguero took with him the computer where the accounting was reflected, although years later he would hand over a CPU after the Court's request.

In the ruling, the Provincial Court highlighted that

the event did not present the annual accounts for approval by the Festival's Governing Council

, as was its obligation, nor did it present the corporate tax or VAT settlements for the years 2008, 2009 and 2010. nor the payroll withholdings of the 2009 staff. The ruling also highlighted that the then manager did not attend to the "numerous" requirements made by the General Intervention of the Board nor those of the Tax Agency and signed different contracts on behalf of the Consortium. without following the legal procedure, doing them directly, "with the knowledge that he was acting outside the current public procurement regulations."

His usual way of carrying out contracts was verbal

, both with that of auditor of accounts or with the continued operation of the restaurant and terrace-bar businesses of the Roman Theater during the summers of 2008 to 2010. He also hired personnel without following the procedure mandatory established in the statutes of the public entity and paid four workers and himself extra amounts.

Furthermore, as EL MUNDO published, Salguero ordered payments without there being any consideration to the Festival from companies or individuals.

For example, a fruit transport service (1,750 euros) carried out from Mérida to the Italian town of Uzzano for the benefit of a company owned by his brother-


He also had cash amounts from the Festival's fund without any type of justification, such as for the payment of a private traffic fine of 300 euros, drinks in a pub in Mérida or several payments through the credit card with charge to the Consortium in large stores for the purchase of two computers and three iPads, without said material ever entering the Festival offices, "its whereabouts being unknown."

During the trial, the Board's auditors assured that the former manager told them that

"he only responded to the Executive Committee of the Consortium and to the Governing Council",

so, before them, "he made a fool of himself, he bullfighted them, the audits because I was not obliged to endure them", going so far as to say: "You are not going to audit me" or always offering excuses such as "I'm preparing it, I haven't had time".

However, despite the warnings, he remained in office and was not dismissed until he lost the PSOE elections in Extremadura in 2011.