Juana Rivas has voluntarily entered the Matilde Cantos de Granada Social Insertion Center (CIS) this Friday, one day before the 15-day period that the judge gave the Civil Guard to take her to court and, later, to prison. Rivas, convicted of not returning her two children to her ex-partner in the summer of 2017, has complied with the admission instruction but by not doing it in a normal prison, but in a CIS, it accelerates substantially, according to sources familiar with the case, their access to the third degree. If he succeeds, he will be able to leave the center and lead a normal life at home with a remote surveillance with a bracelet.
The legal disputes in Rivas began in 2009 when Francesco Arcuri, her husband, was sentenced in Spain for a crime of gender violence to three months in prison and a distance of 200 meters from her for 15 months. In a statement made public by Carlos Arangüez, her lawyer, Juana Rivas has assured about the numerous expressions of affection she has received: “They give me the strength I need to continue. I will never stop fighting for my children ”. This woman from Granada has stated that she is convinced to comply with a decision that she considers “unfair” and has declared: “I have faith and hope that the Government will grant me a pardon, and that will allow me to continue fighting for my children and ask that their rights be recognized. in Italy. We have suffered a lot, it seems that we still have a lot left, and that cannot be forgotten ”.
Rivas was sentenced in 2018, in the first instance, by the Criminal Court number 1 of Granada to a sentence of five years in prison, six for loss of power over her two minor children, seven and now 14 years old. , and compensation of 30,000 euros for two crimes of child abduction. After various appeals in the Provincial Court of Granada and in the Supreme Court, the penalty has been reduced to two and a half years in prison, six years of loss of parental authority and 12,000 euros of compensation for a single crime of abduction. Rivas paid the compensation a couple of weeks ago with money raised through numerous donations.
Admission to a Social Insertion Center instead of prison is authorized by the General Secretariat of Penitentiary Institutions, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, according to a protocol approved in December 2020 that allows “direct entry in an open environment”, such as the CIS Matilde Cantos de Granada, to those who present themselves voluntarily, have a sentence of less than five years, have committed their first crime, have satisfied civil liability and some other conditionality that Rivas’s lawyers consider that they comply with.
Enrique Zambrano, Francesco Arcuri’s lawyer, has explained to this newspaper that he thinks it is good “any benefit that Mrs. Rivas can receive within the penitentiary law.” “In fact, I understand that this is what I had to do,” he added.
Sources familiar with the protocols of the CIS Matilde Cantos explain that now the Treatment Board will have to interview Rivas and issue the appropriate report on whether or not he is going to third grade. That, predictably, could happen in a week or two at least. The board meets every Wednesday and on Friday, if applicable, it could go out. These sources consider it hasty for that decision to be made next Thursday, so they delay any decision at least until June 23. If he had entered prison, this process would have taken, they explain, “at least, in the fastest format, a couple of months and probably a little more.”
The children live with their father in Carloforte (Sardinia). Guard and custody rests with Arcuri by ruling of an Italian court that established a visitation regime that has allowed the children to travel to Spain in summer and Christmas and their mother to travel there regularly to visit them. On the other hand, the Italian courts have filed numerous complaints by Rivas against his ex-partner in Italy although, at this time, his lawyer in Spain, who does not handle his affairs in Italy, confirms that “there are open criminal complaints against Mr. Arcuri in Italy for mistreatment of their children to date ”.