The family of Mari Luz Cortés set out on a pilgrimage around Spain last week to collect signatures in a campaign to tighten the laws against pederasts. Mari Luz disappeared from her home in Huelva on January 13th when she popped out to buy sweets from a nearby kiosk. Her body appeared 55 days later in a stream and one of the family’s neighbours, Santiago del Valle, a convicted child molester, was arrested. Del Valle had been sentenced to jail two years earlier but for reasons which are currently under investigation, he was never actually put in jail. At the time of the girl’s murder he was reporting once every two weeks to a court in Sevilla. He and his wife disappeared from their home in Huelva shortly after Mari Luz disappeared. Her family had always suspected Del Valle, who is now in jail, and are now undertaking a 5,500 kilometre journey round the country to collect the signatures needed for their campaign to make sure he spends the rest of his life in prison. By the time they arrived in Malaga last week, they had collected more than 20,000 en route from Huelva via Sevilla. They will continue round the coast as far as Barcelona before heading to the northern coastal cities and then inland to Madrid, where they will present their petition to the government.


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