Manuela Carmena

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Manuela Carmena
Manuela Carmena Ahora Madrid 2015 - 20 (cropped).jpg
Mayor of Madrid
Assumed office
13 June 2015
Preceded by Ana Botella
Member of the City Council of Madrid
Assumed office
13 June 2015
Member of the General Council of the Judiciary
In office
Personal details
Born Manuela Carmena Castrillo
(1944-02-09) 9 February 1944 (age 74)
Madrid, Spain
Political party PCE (c.1977–c.1981)
Ahora Madrid (2015–)
Alma mater Complutense University of Madrid

Manuela Carmena Castrillo (born 9 February 1944) is a retired Spanish lawyer, emeritus judge of the Spanish Supreme Court and the current Mayor of Madrid since 13 June 2015.


After graduating law school in 1965 from the Complutense University of Madrid, she became a defender of the workers and detainees during the Francoist State and co-founder of a labor law office where the 1977 Massacre of Atocha took place.[1]

She joined the Communist Party of Spain (PCE) and stood as a candidate for them in the Spanish general election, 1977.[2] She had left the Communist Party by 1981.[3] As a judge she began an almost solitary fight to prevent corruption in existing courts.[4] In 1986 she received the National Human Rights Award.[5] She was a member of the General Council of the Judiciary, proposed by United Left, and a founder of the progressive association Judges for Democracy.

Judge of Penitentiary Vigilance and head of the Penitentiary Vigilance Court No. 1 of Madrid, she was elected senior judge of Madrid in 1993.[6] After retiring from the judiciary since 2010, Carmena became a member of the Patronato de la Fundación Alternativas, a think tank correlated to the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), with members such as the former Socialist prime ministers Felipe González and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Carmena Castrillo was Chair-Rapporteur of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, and as such, she visited Equatorial Guinea, Honduras, Nicaragua and South Africa, among other countries.[7] In September 2011, Carmena Castrillo was named advisor to the Patxi López cabinet of the Basque Government in the area of assistance to victims of police abuse.[8]

Carmena Castrillo founded the supportive cooperative "Yayos emprendedores" (lit. entrepreneur grannies), which sponsors a small retail business that sells children's games and clothing and shoes made by prisoners at the Alcalá de Guadaira jail in Seville.[9][10]

She ran as the candidate of the Ahora Madrid coalition in the 2015 Madrid mayoral election. On 13 June 2015, Manuela Carmena was declared Mayor of Madrid. She reduced Madrid's debt of €5.6 billion by 38% in a year and a half of her mayorship.[11]

Carmena originally opposed bullfighting, scrapping grant funding to the Marcial Lalanda bullfighting school following her election in 2015. However funds amounting to €800,000 were granted to the Venta del Batán where the school was housed.[12] However following the move of Councillor Celia Mayer from the Department of Culture, Carmena took over the issue of bullfighting personally.[13] In 2017 owing to pressure from the People's Party (who had always supported bull fighting) and the PSOE the Carmena municipal administration of Madrid reversed their previous opposition to bullfighting and granted a subsidy of €32,000 for its support.[unreliable source?][improper synthesis?][14][15]



  1. ^ "Manuela Carmena, elected Podemos' candidate to lead the Ahora Madrid list" (in Spanish). The Huffington Post. 2015-03-10. 
  2. ^ "The "visionary" story of Manuela Carmena" (in Spanish). La Marea. 2015-04-01. 
  3. ^ "Important drop of communist party membership". El País. 1981-05-10. 
  4. ^ "First legal agreements to prevent corruption in the courts" (in Spanish). El País. 1985-05-16. 
  5. ^ "Judge Manuela Carmena, National Human Rights Award 1986" (in Spanish). El País. 1986-12-06. 
  6. ^ "A progressive judge, new senior of Madrid" (in Spanish). El País. 1993-02-11. 
  7. ^ "Manuela Carmena, chosen as Podemos' candidate for leader of Ahora Madrid's list" (in Spanish). El Huffington Post. 2015-03-10. 
  8. ^ "Manuela Carmena: "I was menaced by ETA myself"" (in Spanish). El País. 2015-05-20. 
  9. ^ Yayos Emprendedores, una empresa con beneficio social (in Spanish)
  10. ^ Zapatelas: Quiénes Somos (in Spanish)
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Madrid's new mayor pulls funding for prestigious bullfighting school". The Local ES. The Local ES. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  13. ^ Costantini, Luca (27 November 2017). "Carmena contrata a 'Joselito' y otros toreros para dar clases de tauromaquia". El País (in Spanish). El País. Retrieved 30 May 2018. 
  14. ^ "MANUELA CARMENA ALSO WILL PROMOTE BULLFIGHTING". (in gb). Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  15. ^ "El PP y el PSOE impiden a Carmena cerrar la escuela de Tauromaquia de Madrid". Publico (in Spanish). Publico. Retrieved 30 May 2018. 
  16. ^ Ministerio de Justicia: "Real Decreto 22/2002, de 11 de enero, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden de San Raimundo de Peñafort a doña Manuela Carmena Castrillo" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado núm. 11, de 12 de enero de 2002 (in Spanish): 1577. ISSN 0212-033X. 
  17. ^ "Manuela Carmena, alcaldesa de Madrid con el apoyo del PSOE". EFE Doc Análisis (in Spanish). Agencia EFE. 2015-06-13. 
Preceded by
Ana Botella
Mayor of Madrid
Succeeded by