The Organic Unit of the Judicial Police (UOPJ) of the Civil Guard of Santa Cruz de Tenerife has received one of Menina Awards this year awarded by the Government Delegation in the Canary Islands for its work in the fight against gender violence and, specifically, for its participation in the investigation and search of the two girls from Tenerife, Anna and Olivia, who were murdered by their father, Tomás Gimeno, in an act of vicarious violence.
according to the brigade José Luis Seoane, head of the EMUME of the UOPJ, «This is an award that the Ministry of Equality has granted us to the team that fights against gender-based violence and violence against minors, for the work in the tragic matter of the disappearance and subsequent murder of the girls. It serves as an incentive to continue working on the elimination of gender violence. The Emume has been the main axis of the investigation “because we not only take care of the issues of women and minors but also the investigation of homicides of the disappeared, so that the case had all the requirements for us to take charge. It could be defined as the general direction of all research.
Emume carries out its work in this way: it takes the first data and from it, having seen the first clues, it generates possible work strategies, the main lines of research to focus on. Then they are divided into subgroups so that each one assumes one of them in particular, either to help clarify the matter or to determine that this clue is not valid. According to the working groups, they close tracks and then reunite until they reach the good one. “It was what we did on this occasion,” determines the brigade. “We evaluated the possibilities that they could have escaped, hidden on the Island, that they had left by sea, by air or were deceased, until we reached the conclusion that we all know.”
It was a fairly long investigation, two months of work, which has covered many branches and a large number of personnel involved. “Not only have the judicial police worked but also citizen security patrols, underwater groups of the Civil Guard and helicopter units in the search. The maritime service was also permanently pending. We have also had collaborations with central operating units, such as the UCO”.
To determine that a matter is vicarious violence «first the investigation must be completed and when all the pieces are on the table, it is revealed, but the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court have a lot to say on this matter. We join them in their decisions.”
The Emume has been involved in multiple cases of gender violence, apart from the famous one involving Anna and Olivia, which has been the most serious in which it has participated. “We have been involved in well-known cases, especially in homicides, where the victim is the result of gender-based violence, but, luckily, it does not happen very often,” explains the head of the team to combat sexist violence and the exercised against minors.
The Civil Guard Women-Minor Specialists are responsible for investigating crimes committed against these people and those in which they participate as perpetrators, providing them with specialized and immediate attention during the police intervention adapted to the type of crime and their circumstances. It encompasses crimes against sexual freedom, outside and within the family environment; those related to juvenile delinquency; trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation and child pornography.