Spain’s Robin Hood Mayor Fights for ‘Communist Utopia’ 1

Sanchez Gordillo Marinaleda

Lauren Frayer writes for, March 6, 2014–On a sweltering August day in 2012, the mayor of a tiny Spanish town, fed up with the country’s economic conditions, did something drastic. It was the height of the economic crisis and most Spanish politicians were away on summer vacation. With dozens of supporters, Mayor Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo of Marinaleda marched into the local supermarket in a neighboring town. “Aren’t you all hungry? Let’s go shopping!” he yelled as they piled food into shopping carts. They walked out without paying, distributing everything to the poor.

Marinaleda, with a population of 2,700, sits in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía where unemployment tops 35 percent. Several more times that summer Sanchez Gordillo led mass burglaries of area supermarkets, becoming a household name across Spain: the Robin Hood of Andalucía.

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