Spanish Mayor Robs Supermarkets to Feed the Poor

A mayor of a small town in Spain is becoming a local hero by staging supermarket robberies and giving the food to the poor
Robin Hood
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Not the Mayor, But We Like to Think So

Local hero or burgeoning criminal? A mayor of the small town Marinaleda in Spain (population: 2,645) has been making headlines for staging supermarket robberies and giving the stolen groceries to the poor.

In two raids, labor unionists piled food into supermarket carts and walked out without paying, with supporters cheering them on. The mayor, Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, shouted encouragement from outside, saying the stolen staples went to families affected the most by the faltering economy.

Seven people (his helpers, we presume) have been arrested for participating in the grocery thefts, and while Gordillo has political immunity, he tells Reuters he'd be happy to renounce it and get jailed himself.

"There are people who don't have enough to eat. In the 21st century, this is an absolute disgrace," Gordillo told Reuters.

In the meantime, Gordillo is planning a three-week march to bring attention to people suffering from the economic crisis. He wants other mayors to step up and skip debt payments, stop layoffs, and stop home evictions. And of course, the government isn't having any of it.

"You can't be Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham," a (Parliament-ruling) People's Party spokesman said. "This man is just searching for publicity at the cost of everyone else."