The current ‘number two’ of the PP, Cuca Gamarra, helped the Government of La Rioja become a kind of placement agency for like-minded people and acquaintances of the party during the mandate of Pedro Sanz –recently elected member of the Council of State– , between 1995 and 2015. The name of the general secretary of the popular ones appears in several of the documents to which elDiario.es has had access, which show the mediation of the La Rioja Executive in the Sanz stage with public and private companies to which who directly asked for work for sympathizers, public officials of the PP or their relatives. In addition, job applicants consulted by this newspaper have confirmed that it was Gamarra who told them to ask the presidential cabinet for a job.
The job requests processed by the Government of Pedro Sanz in La Rioja: “I have been serving and voting for the PP for 40 years”
In 2011, months before she became mayor of Logroño, Gamarra recommended to several people close to her party that they write to Arturo Steven, Sanz’s chief of staff during his 20-year term, to ask him for a job. Everything happened in a period in which the then president of La Rioja and also Steven received dozens of emails in their official accounts from like-minded citizens asking them to intercede to get them work. Subsequently, almost always through Steven, Sanz’s team sent the CVs to private companies through their official email account, the Government’s, requesting them to be given a job.
In an email sent to Steven himself in January 2011, one of those job seekers described Gamarra’s role as liaison for the La Rioja Presidency team, which acted as a placement agency: “Hello Arturo, good days, I am Alfredo de Varea [localidad adscrita a Logroño]yesterday I was at the neighborhood meeting held by Cuca Gamarra [entonces concejal del Ayuntamiento de la capital riojana] in Varea and we talked for a while, and he asked me how my son’s job was going.”
Immediately afterwards, the citizen explains how Gamarra provided him with the official mail – that of the Government – of Arturo Steven, Pedro Sanz’s right-hand man, who was in charge of requesting public and private companies in the region to hire supporters or relatives of positions of the PP in La Rioja. “[La hoy ‘número dos’ de Alberto Núñez Feijóo] He gave me your email address to get in touch with you and so that if you knew anything about it you would inform me, because I found out from another person at the same meeting that they were taking people in Palacios sausages ”, this neighbor told him to Steven, in his mail. “I would appreciate it if you could tell me something about the subject, I know you will be very busy with work, but as you will understand this is a life without (sic) for me and my boy, because as we said things are very bad to find something for him, “he said , before sending the then chief of staff of Pedro Sanz “an effusive greeting.”
The relationship with the Palacios Group
According to the documentation to which elDiario.es has had access, this citizen added the curriculum of his son, Jorge, in his email. And in a handwritten note, in the same document, you can read: “Sent to Palacios on January 14, 2011.” In other words, what these texts reflect is that after Gamarra suggested that this citizen write to Steven to ask him for a job for his son, the then chief of staff of Pedro Sanz not only received the young man’s resume but also sent it to the Group Palacios, one of the main food companies in La Rioja to which he regularly resorted to ask to place those close to the PP.
Apart from the case of Varea, cited at the beginning of this information, the name of Cuca Gamarra appears in another of the emails sent to Arturo Steven asking him for a job while he was Pedro Sanz’s chief of staff. “In the first instance, I would like to thank Cuca and you for the trouble and time you have taken to receive my resume for a possible job position,” wrote a job applicant who identified herself as Irene, in the email sent to Steven. on January 3, 2011, implying that he also sent the same message to Gamarra.
“I believe that they will know how to find a position that suits my profile, since I told Cuca Gamarra that now, in the pre-campaign or electoral campaign [en mayo de 2011, cuatro meses después del envío del mail, se celebraron las elecciones municipales que encumbraron a Gamarra a la Alcaldía de Logroño] I know that more funds are provided from headquarters to achieve objectives and one of them is the recruitment of human capital”, he wrote to Steven.
According to the information verified by this newspaper, this citizen, with whom elDiario.es has been able to speak, came to visit Gamarra at the Logroño City Hall, who told her that she should write to Steven. Once received by Pedro Sanz’s chief of staff, his resume was also sent by the La Rioja Presidency to Palacios, requesting a job through official channels.
This newspaper has contacted Gamarra’s team to ask about those contacts, but the ‘number two’ of the PP did not want to make any comment.
Steven, whom Gamarra asked to go to those who asked him for work, maintained a more than cordial relationship with Pedro Domínguez, CEO of Grupo Palacios, whom he referred to as “dear friend” and to whom, as reflected in the documentation collected, He sent dozens of resumes of people close to him or Sanz to ask him to place them in his company. However, in a telephone conversation with this newspaper, Steven limited himself to being “surprised” by the content of the emails reproduced by elDiario.es and said he did not know Domínguez, with whom he exchanged numerous emails.
On March 10, 2011, Julia Veres, then Immigration Secretary of the PP of La Rioja, sent Arturo Steven an email asking him to work for a relative. “Arthur, good afternoon. As we have discussed, I am submitting Alexandru’s curriculum (…). I await your news. All the best. Julia Veres”, she wrote, who attached the aforementioned resume. Just a month and a half later, on April 28, 2011, Steven used his official email address to send Alexandru’s resume to Domínguez, CEO of Palacios. “Dear friend Peter. Attached I am sending you Alexandru’s CV, as I told you. All the best. Arturo Steven ”, he wrote to him, accompanying the text with the official logo of the Government of La Rioja. The next day, Domínguez replied: “Good afternoon, Arturo. The worker Alexandru begins to work with a one-month contract of ett on 05/02/2011 in the clean room section of pizzas. All the best. Pedro”.
elDiario.es contacted the Palacios Group to try to obtain an explanation about the emails between Arturo Steven and Pedro Domínguez, CEO of the food group, about job requests and their respective responses. The press department sent the marketing department which, via email, chose not to make any kind of comment on the matter.
The involvement of the secretaries
Patricia Gil, Steven’s secretary during his time in the Government of La Rioja, was one of the members of Sanz’s team who, according to the emails collected, was in charge of requesting work from private companies using public means, such as his email address. official mail of the Presidency of the region. “As Mr. Arturo Steven agreed with Mr. Pedro Domínguez in the conversation they had earlier this week, I am attaching Mrs. María’s CV (…), so that she can send it to Mr. Domínguez”, Gil wrote to María Medrano, head of Grupo Palacios, in September 2013.
In the emails collected by this newspaper there are also job applications processed by Malú Urbina, Pedro Sanz’s secretary. “Hello Malú, I am María (…) the daughter of Reyes Morales. My mother told me that she had spoken with you and that she could send you the cv for possible jobs. Thank you very much for everything, for being so good to my mother and for accepting my cv. I’m going to send you the two I have, the one I use for television and the one for other jobs. We are in contact. A kiss”, wrote one of the applicants, on March 11, 2014.
Investigative journalism has a price
elDiario.es is financed by the contributions of 60,000 members who support us. Thanks to them, we can write articles like this one and that all readers – including those who cannot pay – have access to our information. But we ask you to think for a moment about our situation. Unlike other media, we do not shut down our journalism. And that makes it much more difficult for us than for other media to convince readers of the need to pay.
If you get information from elDiario.es and you believe that our journalism is important, and that it is worthwhile for it to exist and reach as many people as possible, support us. Because our work is necessary, and because elDiario.es needs it. Become a member, become a member, of elDiario.es.