Most of the time, when citizens look to the discussion of hate crimes and discrimination, it is usually through statistics that do not fully reflect an egalitarian and tolerant society. Therefore, it is also convenient to face these events, which are exacerbated and can be even more harmful when they occur in a small population. Because this was the case of Oscar Balcones, independent candidate for mayor of Salmerón, a small town in Guadalajara.
Oscar lived in this town of over 150 residents for 47 years and worked there for over 20 years. It has also been part of the political life of the municipality for a long time. He was a cultural adviser to the PSOE in the 2015-2019 legislature, a party he left over “significant differences”. He re-introduced himself four years ago as an independent in the PP.
Now he has decided alone with Miguel Ángel Vidal, in the independent list Acción Rural Guadalajara Abierta (ARGA), a regional group that will present for the first time in this city. That is, he is running for the third time because he wants to “fight for the people”, although this case was the most difficult due to attacks on his sexual orientation and “mental exhaustion”. “The homophobia that ‘it comes from years ago.’
Last April, a day after a pamphlet presenting ARGA’s joint candidacy for Salmeron was sent to townhouses, the same document appeared in his home mailbox, but with fonts and letters marked with green marker. Putting all of this together, it says: “Too much, I’ll break your teeth.”
It was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” of his situation and he denounced the facts before the Civil Guard of Guadalajara, as well as his candidacy, because the “sabotaged” election letter is signed by both candidates. Now the facts are being investigated from the post of the head of the region, Instituto Armado de Pareja, but according to Oscar, “they told me that without witnesses and evidence they do little or nothing.” “I understand that the investigation can be complicated, but the fact is that an agent did not even go to Salmeron to ask, to inquire or to investigate the town. Not even that,” he emphasizes.
Oscar had already been attacked for his affective-sexual orientation when he was a counselor. And in the next elections, during the distribution of election programs, a photo of his face appeared under the door with the inscription “Fagot”. After that, he denounced it on social networks and a few days later, the door of his house was found covered with eggs. The latter also denounced it four years ago in the couple before the position of the Civil Guard.
In this case, homophobic threats left him “displaced”. “I’ve been in mental health therapy for a year now and it’s gotten worse since this last threat that affected me the most. Just filing a complaint was quite tirade and very surreal. It was as if no one wanted to help me. as if it didn’t exist. No one listened to me, I feel powerless, although my life is a commitment to psychological help,” he says.
He gathered enough strength to stay in the village despite everything. His life, his work and his roots are there. “I do everything for my people, but now I also want to protect my rights. I have no fear and will continue. Whoever wants to hurt me should know because I don’t care. I’m not going to give up,” he concludes.
This candidate also exemplifies the difficulties many people face in reporting LGTBIphobia crimes. According to the latest report from the Castilla-La Mancha Public Prosecutor’s Office, no new prosecutions for hate crimes and discrimination have been initiated in the autonomous community over the past year. All this, despite the 50 new prosecutors delegated for it and the new comprehensive law on equal treatment and non-discrimination.
The prosecution identified a number of determining factors for the phenomenon of “under-reporting” when these crimes occur: “a lack of quantification of the facts” included in the criminal forms of hate crime and discrimination by both forces and state security. Authorities, both in the courts and in the prosecution itself, “may appreciate that there are very few reported facts”.
Source: El Diario