Directed by Maribel Sánchez Maroto, Netflix’s ‘Nevenka: Breaking the Silence’ is a three-part documentary series that chronicles a 2000 sexual harassment case that shook Spain and its politics to its very core. After all, it was Nevenka Fernández, a councilor for the Treasury of Ponferrada at the time, who accused her superior, the Mayor, of sexually harassing her after she ended their months-long relationship. This case also made history as no politician before Ismael Álvarez Rodríguez had ever been convicted of such charges in Spain or even been required by the court to pay a fine or compensation.
Who is Ismael Álvarez Rodríguez?
Born on July 13, 1950, in Dehesas, Ponferrada, León, Ismael Álvarez is a politician who has been a part of the Spanish community as a leader since 1991. That year, he was the Popular Party’s candidate to become the Mayor of Ponferrada, but he lost the elections. Although, he did manage to make a name for himself as a counselor. Subsequently, in the general elections of 1993, Ismael was selected as a Senator, helping his hard work reach new heights, resulting in him receiving enough votes to be the Mayor in 1995. Moreover, in 1999, Ismael was elected to be a solicitor in the Courts of Castilla y León.
Despite having the reputation of being one of the best Mayors that the city had ever seen, Ismael Álvarez Rodríguez could not escape Nevenka’s accusations against him. And when she took her case to the Superior Court of Justice of Castilla y León, where Ismael was certified, he had no choice but face trial. Ultimately, in 2002, Ismael was convicted on the harassment charges against him and was given the minimum sentence of nine months in prison. Along with that, he was court-ordered to pay compensation worth €12,000 and a fine of €6,480, which was reduced to €2,160 in 2003. Ismael resigned from his posts, of his own free will, the day his sentence was made public. He, however, has always claimed that he was innocent and a victim of “political lynching.”
Where is Ismael Álvarez Rodríguez Now?
After serving his sentence and letting the dust settle on the case against him, Ismael Álvarez Rodríguez announced his return to politics in 2011. In February, he ran in the municipal elections of Ponferrada once again. Thus, on behalf of his independent political party, IAP, Ismael became a councilman for the city on July 11, 2011, focusing on benefiting community members.
On March 9, 2013, Ismael handed in his resignation and stepped away from the spotlight. This came after his party and the Ponferrada PSOE reached an agreement to present a motion that would appoint Samuel Folgueral as the next Mayor. In the meantime, he dedicated himself to his hotel business. He even stated that they, like everyone else, were affected by the COVID 19 pandemic restrictions. Having said that, however, it seems like the 70-year-old lives a fairly comfortable life in Spain while still making rare appearances in the political world.
Read More: Where is Nevenka Fernández Now?