Jesús Gil

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For the Cuban Olympic fencer, see Jesús Gil (fencer).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Gil and the second or maternal family name is Gil.
Jesús Gil
Mayor of Marbella
In office
15 June 1991 – 24 April 2002
Deputy Pedro Román
Preceded by Francisco Parra Medina
Succeeded by Julián Muñoz
Personal details
Born Gregorio Jesús Gil y Gil
(1933-03-12)12 March 1933
El Burgo de Osma, Castile and León, Spain
Died 14 May 2004(2004-05-14) (aged 71)
Madrid, Spain
Resting place Cementerio de la Almudena
Nationality Spanish
Political party GIL
Spouse(s) María de los Angeles Marín Cobo
Occupation Businessman

Gregorio Jesús Gil y Gil (12 March 1933 – 14 May 2004) was a Spanish businessman and politician. He served as Mayor of Marbella between 1991 and 2002, and presided for a 16-year tenure as president of the Spanish football club Atlético Madrid.



In the 1960s Gil ran a construction firm building gated communities. A complex he had built in San Rafael, near Segovia, collapsed in 1969, killing 58 people and injuring many others. A subsequent investigation showed that the cement in the new building had not yet set, and the whole project had been completed without use of architects, surveyors, or plans. Gil was sentenced to five years in prison, but was pardoned after 18 months by General Franco.[1]


In 1987, Gil was elected president at football side Atlético Madrid (his first signing was that of 21-year-old Portuguese winger Paulo Futre), where he initiated a volatile relationship with fans, reporters, players and head coaches. In 1992 he shut down Atlético's youth academy, which saw talented 15-year-old Raúl switch to crosstown rivals Real Madrid.

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 1980s/90s, and some of these officers comprised Gil's own private garde de corps.[2]

In a March 1997 incident as the two teams met in the 1996–97 Champions League quarterfinals, Gil referred to Ajax Amsterdam, due to its many players of Surinamese origin, as FC Congo.[citation needed]


In 1991, he founded and led the Grupo Independiente Liberal (GIL) as his political vehicle, and was elected as mayor of Marbella the same year.[1] He installed a bust of former dictator, Franco, in the town hall and was known for walking the streets of the town shouting abuse at prostitutes and homeless people.[1] His mayorship was popular enough for him to be re-elected three times.[1]

In April 2002, he was banned for 28 years from holding public office, forced to stand down as mayor and briefly imprisoned.[3][4]

In early 2008, a full, two-episode documentary appeared in Tele 5 explaining the highlights of his life and career.


Gil died from a brain hemorrhage, aged 71, in Madrid.

Political reputation[edit]

Gil was famous and controversial for his extreme right-wing political views, summed up in a unique brand of foulmouthed, low-brow populism[5] punctuated by self-aggrandizing,[6] sexist,[7] homophobic,[8][9] racist,[10][11] xenophobic and otherwise derogatory[12] remarks and, occasionally, by pre-democratic nostalgia.[13]

He publicly referred to former Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) town councilor Isabel García Marcos as a "whore" during town council meetings and, on one occasion, dubbed journalist Carmen Rigalt as "la jinetera del periodismo" (prostitute of journalism). 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 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]

Crime rates and open manifestations of poverty decreased dramatically during the first years of his administration but this apparent success was obtained at the expense of civil liberties and freedom of speech. [clarification needed], including the beatings of delinquents and prostitutes, deportation of foreigners with low incomes, handouts of money to homeless people in exchange for leaving town, etc. The subsequent apparent improvement in the lifestyle of a segment of the population was cited as a main reason for his re-elections.[14]

See also[edit]


Sporting positions
Preceded by
Francisco Javier Castedo
President of Atlético Madrid
Succeeded by
Enrique Cerezo
Political offices
Preceded by
Francisco Parra Medina
Mayor of Marbella
Succeeded by
Julián Muñoz