SANTIAGO â€" If it's a scrum Chilean Sen. Jorge Pizarro wanted, he certainly got one. Though he didn't expect to be at the bottom of the heap.
Constituents complained to La Tercera newspaper that Pizarro, leader of Chile's Christian Democratic Party, traveled to the United Kingdom to watch rugby two days after the devastating Sept. 16 earthquake that shook the country rather than stay home during a parliamentary recess, when lawmakers were expected to visit their districts.
He departed for the rugby trip a day after visiting the worst-hit areas alongside President Michelle Bachelet. He told Chilean daily La Tercera that he had meant to go a day earlier but postponed his trip one day because of the earthquake.
The newspaper reported that locals were annoyed with his choice of priority. Pizarro defended it by saying he had planned it a year in advance. "It is a personal trip," he said. "I am in touch with all local, regional and national authorities, helping coordinate whatever is possible and most helpful to people in our region."
Ignacio Walker, a former Christian Democrat leader, told the newspaper in no uncertain terms, "He has to come back."
A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.
A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."
The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.
Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021
Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021
Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?
The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.
The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.
The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."
The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."
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