SPAIN TODAY: Champs, Gangs, and Billionnaires


Tattooed Latin King


By Stephanie Riley

Spanish Champ Will Soon be Racing at Formula 1 Grand Prix

Racer of McLaren-Honda Fernando Alonso during a press conference at the Honda Motor Co. HQ in Tokyo just 10 days before the accident in Barcelona (By Chris McGarth/Getty Images)

Fernando Alonso, the 33-year old two-time Formula 1 World Champion, suffered an accident during a pre-season testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Montmelo, Barcelona last February 22. The crash, which occurred at Turn 3 of the Circuit, was shrouded in mystery, as a result of which rumors spun out fast and furious. The Mirror reported that Alonso “may never return to Formula One.”  Another story says Alonso came to speaking in Latin after passing out on impact of the smash!

The Grand Prix racer keeps his private life under lock and key and has never even revealed exactly when and where he wedded singer Raquel Del Rosario from whom he is now divorced. But despite this mania for privacy he is loved and held in high esteem by his countrymen who are understandably concerned about his health.

"I'm fine, see?"

“I’m fine, see?” (On Alonso’s Facebook page)

Another rumor has it that Alonso actually fainted before the crash, thereby causing the accident to happen. If so, he must be suffering from some illness.

After leaving the hospital where he underwent several tests – he boarded the chopper-ambulance on his own – he appeared before the cameras saying he was fine but he must not overdo it.  He said he would not be racing in the Australia Grand Prix on March 15.

On his official web page Alonso said (again) that “it will be tough not to be in Australia, but I understand the doctors’ recommendations. A second impact in less than 21 days ‘No.’”

The car FernandoAlonso will be driving throughout  the 2015 Formula 1 Grand Prix, the

The car Fernando Alonso will be driving throughout the 2015 Formula 1 Grand Prix, the MP4-30 (By Chris McGarth/Getty Images)

The doctors recommend that he not risk a second concussion “for the time being,” which could happen in the Australia Grand Prix, everything being possible under the sun.

Alonso hopes to race at the Malaysia Grand Prix on the 29th of March.

He left the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One not long before the accident, and sigined up with McLaren-Honda, which gave rise to another theory about the accident: that it was a conspiracy against the Spanish Grand Prix champion.


Spain Set to Deport Key Members of Violent Latin Street Gangs

Thirty-four Latin American gang leaders are being deported so as to break up criminal networks in Madrid. The first two deportations will take place immediately before they have the chance to irrevocably take root. Those deported will be banned from entering Spain for between 5 and 10 years.

Latin King sweater patch

Latin King sweater patch (By User:Dirtydeegee321  CC BY_SA 3.0)

These undesirable aliens belong to five different street gangs in Madrid: 12 are members of Los Netas, eight to Trinitarios, seven are members of Dominicans Don’t Play (DDP), and five are from the Latin Kings. Two more are from the Las Maras but according to the chief police inspector, Ricardo Gabaldon, this gang is ‘not well organized in Madrid.’

Spanish police have also made it known that they are preparing to deport another 94 gang members in upcoming weeks. Cristina Cifuentes, the central government delegate to Madrid, reiterated that the deportations hope to prevent these gangs from becoming entrenched in Madrid and the rest of Spain.

Details about the leaders’ nationalities were not disclosed, but the aforementioned gangs are primarily made up of youths from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, and Peru.

Metro station in the District of Tetuan, a conflictive barrio where the sizeable presence of immigrants who are unable to get integrated into the mainstream society is a fertile breeding ground for street gangs

Metro station in Tetuan, a troubled district in Madrid where the sizable presence of immigrants unable to get integrated into the mainstream society is a fertile breeding ground for street gangs

Madrid’s police estimate that there are approximately 350 of these gang members in the capital, most important groups holding between 60 and 70 members, and many are repeatedly arrested. Immigration laws allow the government to annul Spanish citizenship or residency permits and deport immigrants who are members of violent groups that have been defined by the Supreme Court as criminal organizations and may or may not have been jailed for any number of crimes.



Forbes Ranks Zara Zillionaire the Planet’s Fourth Richest

Forbes’ much-awaited 2015 rich-man list ranks Spain’s business tycoon Amancio Ortega, founder-owner of Inditex whose flagship is Zara store, the world’s fourth richest person, down from last year’s third slot. With $64.5 Billion in his pocket he is behind Bill Gates, the richest with $79.2B, Carlos Slim second ($77.1B), and Warren Buffet, 3rd richest ($72.7).

Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega

Apart from Zara, the following stores form part of Ortega’s far flung textile empire: Oysho, Stradivarius, Pull & Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and Uterque. As such this son of a railroad worker is the world’s richest retailer. His real estate assets include iconic buildings in New York, Chicago, Miami, London, Paris, Madrid and Barcelona.

Rosalia Mera  poses for a protrait at the Paideia Foundation in 2010  (Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images)

Rosalia Mena poses at the Paideia Foundation in 2010 (Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images)


Ortega’s oldest daughter Sandra Ortega, by his late first wife Rosalia Mena, is the richest woman – and the second richest person, after her father – in Spain. She ranks 225th in the world, up from 227th in 2014.

When Rosalia Mena died unexpectedly in 2013 Sandra Ortega inherited 89% of her holding company Rosp Corunna which handled Mena’s share in Inditex. Sandra Ortega has however declined to play an active role in her father’s firm. She spends a great deal of her time on the non-profit Paideia Foundation, established by her mother for the vocational training of disabled people and in honor of Mena and Ortega’s son Marcos (Sandra’s brother) who was born with cerebral palsy.

Zara in Madrid

Zara in Madrid

Like father, like daughter. Sandra Ortega is a fiercely private person and for most Spaniards the one and only time they’ve seen her photo was at the burial of her mother.

One of the two other Spanish women billionaires, according to Forbes, is Alicia Koplowitz who with $2.3B ranks as the 7th richest person in Spain and the 810th in the world. She has investments in the banking, hotel and real estate sectors in Spain and the United States. She is the sister of Esther Koplowitz who owns the construction company Fometo de Constrcciones y Contratas.

The third Spanish woman billionaire is heiress Maria del Pino y Calvo-Sotelo who is worth $1.5B, is Spain’s 17th richest person, and the world’s 1250th.



Topmost image: A Latin King showing his Latin King tattoo — a lion with a crown, on the left — and signifying the five point star with his hands, which stands for the “Almighty” in the “Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation.” Cropped. By Javier Ramirez: . CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported

Metro Tetuan by Zaqarbal: . CC BY-SA 3.0




STEPHANIE RILEY ID picGuidepost staff writer Stephanie Riley grew up in Texas but attended the University of Arkansas where, as a perennial of the dean’s list, she earned her Bachelor’s degree ahead of time. She currently lives in Madrid and enjoys living in the city and learning about its rich culture and history. In her free time, she loves to read as well as travel and learn new languages. She speaks Spanish fluently (apart from her native English, of course) and is currently learning French. Moreover, she plans to continue learning from others and experiencing all that life has to offer through different cultures and people.