Jesús Gil: Wikis


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Jesús Gil

In office
June 15, 1991 – April 24, 2002
Preceded by Francisco Parra Medina
Succeeded by Julián Muñoz

Born March 11, 1933(1933-03-11)
El Burgo de Osma, Castilla y León, Spain
Died May 14, 2004 (aged 71)
Madrid, Spain
Birth name Gregorio Jesús Gil y Gil
Nationality Spanish
Political party GIL
Spouse(s) María de los Angeles Marín Cobo
Occupation Businessman

Gregorio Jesús Gil y Gil (March 11, 1933 – May 14, 2004) was a Spanish politician and businessman, also being known for his 16-year stint as president of La Liga club Atlético de Madrid.



Born in El Burgo de Osma, Soria, Gil made most of his money in the construction business. He was arrested and spent time in jail in 1967 when one of his buildings in Los Ángeles de San Rafael (Segovia) collapsed, killing 58 people. He was eventually released by order of the Spanish Head of State Francisco Franco, after allegedly paying a sum of money.

In 1987, Gil was elected chairman at football side Atlético Madrid (his first signing being Portuguese Paulo Futre), where he initiated a volatile relationship with fans, reporters, players and managers (his team's and the opponents') alike. He infamously shut down Atlético's youth academy, which saw rising star Raúl switch to crosstown rivals Real Madrid, and achieve legendary status there.

In an incident as the two teams met in the UEFA Champions League 1996-97, he referred to Ajax Amsterdam, due to its many players of Surinamese origin, as FC Congo.

An even more infamous event was his row with José María Caneda and José González Fidalgo (SD Compostela club's president and chief executive officer, respectively) in front of the Professional League headquarters in 1996, allegedly due to Caneda's prior derision of the inhabitants of Marbella for electing Gil as their mayor - he had won the seat on May 26, 1991. After a first verbal exchange with both Caneda and Fidalgo, Gil punched the latter in the face and a noisy altercation ensued, both in front of the building and along its hallways and stairways, during all of which Gil, protected by his bodyguards and broadcasted live via TV and radio, boisterously uttered phrases such as "¡Ha insultado a toda la gente de Marbella, el 'hijoputa' este que es un ladrón!" (This son of a bitch, this thief, has insulted the people of Marbella!).

The swift, economical and instinctive action of the bodyguards, and their demeanor towards both Caneda and Fidalgo, are probably all the more significant since most of Marbella's local police were recruited indirectly by Gil among legionnaires and members of other elite military forces throughout southern Spain and Northern Africa during the 80s and 90s, and some of these officers usually comprised Gil's own private garde de corps.[1][2]

Previously, in 1991, Gil founded and led the Grupo Independiente Liberal (GIL) as his political vehicle. In April 2002, he was banned for 28 years from holding public office, forced to stand down as mayor and briefly imprisoned.[3][4] He died from a brain hemorrhage, aged 71.

During the beginning of 2008, a full, two-episode documentary appeared in Tele 5 explaining the highlights of his life and career.[5][6]

Political reputation

Gil was famous and controversial for his extreme right-wing political views, summed up in a unique brand of foulmouthed, low-brow populism punctuated by sexist, homophobic, racist and xenophobic remarks and, occasionally, by pre-democratic nostalgia.

It was not unusual for him to publicly and loudly refer to former PSOE town councilor Isabel García Marcos as whore during town council meetings and, in one occasion, he dubbed journalist Carmen Rigalt as "jinetera del periodismo" (prostitute of journalism). His critics labeled his business dealings as shady, hinting at ties to organized crime. The Málaga coastline, effectively under the area of economic and political influence of the Gil family, became a popular residence for British, Italian, and Russian gangsters while he was mayor, as well as a haven for former Nazis either awaiting or avoiding extradition, such as Otto Remer and, most famously, Léon Degrelle.

At the same time, however, Gil instigated several crackdowns on drug users and prostitutes. He was involved in several criminal cases, including the so called Caso de las camisetas.[3] and Caso Atlético.[4] Although it is true that blue collar crime rates and open manifestations of poverty decreased dramatically during the first years of his administration, there was widespread public perception, and some evidence, that most of this apparent success was obtained to the expense of civil liberties and freedom of speech, and that the means employed to this end were objectable to say the least. Those included: beatings of petty delinquents and prostitutes, deportation of foreigners with a low income, individual handouts of moderate sums of money to homeless people in exchange for leaving town, etc.

The subsequent improvement in the lifestyle of a segment of the population, albeit more apparent than real, was one of the main reasons for his landslide reelections. Some celebrities residing in Marbella, such as Gunilla von Bismarck and Sean Connery, at times participated in Gil's campaigns for reelection.


  • Gil had a stud horse named "Imperioso", on which he often paraded during Atlético de Madrid's conquests.[7]
  • He also had a young crocodile named "Furia".
  • Amongst his many tirades, two stand out due to its incomprehensible language: Gil once insulted former Atlético player Quique Setién by saying he flirted with "ostentorious" women.[8] Later, in 1999, he insulted Carlos Jiménez Villarejo, who had prosecuted him in a corruption scandal in Marbella, calling him, amongst others, "facineroso".[9]


  • (To a journalist) "A la puta calle, venga! Siempre me toca al más tonto al lado" (Get the fuck out of here, move it! I've always got to deal with the dumbest one).
  • "Yo el problema de Gibraltar lo solucionaba en cinco minutos, tirando la verja" (I'd deal with the Gibraltar question in five minutes by tearing the gate down).
  • (Referring to Colombian footballer of Atlético Adolfo Valencia) "Al negro le corto el cuello. Me cago en la puta madre que parió al negro. Ya estoy harto de aguantar. " (I'm going to slash the nigger's throat. I shit on the nigger's fucking mother. I'm sick and tired of this). The word negro (literally standing for black man) is neutral and not necessarily offensive in and of itself, although the context, the journalist's question and the way Gil referred to Valencia appear to make the above translation fairly accurate.
  • (Referring to French referee Michel Vautrot after losing a European match): "Es un maricón y será recompensado en su afición pederasta". (He is a faggot and he'll have his pederast impulse rewarded).
  • "Para mí, echar a un entrenador es como tomarme una cerveza. Puedo echar a 20 en un año. Hasta a cien si hace falta” (Booting a coach is to me like having a beer. I can boot 20 in a year span. Even 100 if I have to).
  • (Referring to [Spanish] journalists as a whole): "Me dáis asco, os desprecio y no quiero veros más por aquí" (I loath and despise all of you and I don't ever want to see you around again). In this same interview, he defended the Frente Atlético radical fan base, some of whose members were consistently accused of engaging in violent incidents.


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