MADRID – A Spanish court has sentenced a town mayor and four others to seven months in prison for occupying unused military land they wanted to be loaned to farmers hard hit by the economic crisis.
The regional court of southern Andalusia on Thursday convicted Marinaleda town mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo and the others of serious disobedience for ignoring warnings to leave the "Las Turquillas" ranch land they occupied during the summer of 2012.
Sanchez Gordillo has staged several activities to highlight the plight of Spain's near 6 million unemployed, including "Robin Hood"-style supermarket lootings in 2012 to aid the poor.
His town boasts full employment thanks to its farm cooperatives.
Defendants given sentences of less than two years in Spain are generally not imprisoned unless they have previous convictions.