Porreres is a town located on the island of Majorca, in the Mediterranean, under the dominion of Spain.
Known for its picturesque countryside, historical architecture, and cultural heritage, Porreres is one of many charming towns of Majorca popular with tourists and known for its beautiful landscapes and Mediterranean lifestyle.
It is also famous for trying to punish old men who kill young robbers who invade their houses.
Pau Rigo, a retired businessman on a pension, is one such old man. Now 83, he is on trial for homicide.
This case dominated the headlines of February 2018 in Porreres, where a robber met a fate that prosecutors felt he did not deserve.
José Antonio Sánchez Lara, 44, known as ‘Pep Merda’, masterminded the robbery. He knew Rigo kept money at his home in a safe.
Sanchez chose Mark Rotger, 58, as the getaway driver. Colombian twins Mauricio and Freddy Escobar, 25, would invade the house and take the money.
At 9 a.m. on February 24, 2018, Rigo entered his garden when Fredy and Mauricio approached him aggressively, wearing hoods and gloves and wielding goat legs as makeshift weapons.
Fredy overpowered Rigo, muffling any attempts to call for help, and forced him to the basement to his safe.
Mauricio turned his attention to Rigo’s wife inside the house, shoving her onto a bed and gagging her.
In the basement, Rigo opened the safe, but the 12,000 Euros did not come close to meeting the robbers’ expectations.
Growing increasingly angry, they would force it out of Rigo if he had more money in the house.
Whether Rigo had money hidden remains in question, but he had a shotgun hidden in his room. He grabbed the gun and positioned himself before the bedroom door, facing the living room where the brothers carried backpacks with the stolen money.
Rigo claimed he wanted to scare the robbers, hoping they would take the loot and leave. But they wanted more.
Rigo said, “When I brandished the weapon, they countered with threats, even brandishing a goat’s leg as a weapon. It was at that moment one of them lunged at me. I discharged the firearm.
“My shotgun has two magazines. I took a shot in a state of near-blindness and uncertainty, unsure if I had hit anyone. My aim was to instill fear and drive them away.”
His aim was too good. Mauricio Escober was shot in the stomach and lay on the floor.
Fredy hit Rigo with a goat leg, whacking him in the face, fracturing a vertebra, breaking the 77-year-old’s nose, and rendering him unconscious.
Fredy fled the house with his bleeding brother on his back and the backpacks with the stolen money.
He looked for his accomplices in the getaway car, but they had fled. Fredy left his twin in the garden and ran off with the money.
Police arrived. Mauricio and Rigo were rushed to the hospital.
Mauricio died from hemorrhagic shock in the hospital.
Fredy said he threw the bag with the money away, [although, according to Sanchez, Fredy would have spent it on drugs and in a casino] and turned himself in to the Civil Guard.
Fredy wept inconsolably, claiming his accomplices abandoned his twin and him, causing his brother’s death, and gave police their names.
Police arrested Sanchez and Rotger and charged them with robbery with violence in an inhabited house. Police charged Freddy with the same crime plus assault.
Rigo left the hospital two weeks after the invasion, and the prosecutors charged him with homicide. However, they considered the element of self-defense, recommending a sentence of four years in prison.
The head of the Court of Instruction 1 of Manacor, Ana Salmerón, did not hold Rigo in custody but released him to await trial for homicide.
The Provincial Court in Palma is now overseeing Rigo’s jury trial.
Rigo claimed he would not have fired if the thieves had “settled” for the loot and left.
Antoni Vicens, the attorney representing the dead man, said the family wants murder with treachery charges against Rigo and 15 years in prison, along with 160,000 euros in compensation for the deceased’s mother out of which he would get his standard legal fees.
“Without a word he shot at Mauricio at a distance of approximately one and a half meters,” the lawyer said.
Trying to win sympathy, the now-83-year-old Rigo said, “I want everyone to understand that I acted out of necessity because I saw no alternative to protect my wife.
“No alternative?” The prosecutors scoffingly said, “No one made you pull out a hidden gun. No one made you pull the trigger.”
Rigo said, “The violence and unpredictability of their actions led me to believe they might have harmed or even killed us had I not taken action.”
The prosecutors said, “violence? They only used a goat leg. You were the one who used a gun.”
Rigo said, “They were insistent on obtaining more money, which I did not possess and beating me and my wife.”
The prosecutor said, “How do you know? You killed them before they beat you.”
Rigo said, “I was overwhelmed by panic, fearing that they intended to harm us, perhaps even leave us bound and gagged in a room to die. That’s when I made the decision to take action to survive.”
“Survive?” the prosecution ridiculed the old man. “You didn’t care if the poor young man you victimized survived.”
Porreres is a beautiful town in the southeastern part of Majorca, one of the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean Sea. Peopled with tourists who come to see beautiful landscapes and robbers who invade the homes of old men, who better submit to a goat leg to the head and like it -old men and their wives better off dead or in prison in the eyes of the curious island law that punishes courage that stands its ground.
FR will report the results of the trial of Pau Rigo when we learn the verdict.