Maria Soledad Becerril Bustamante She served as a deputy, senator, minister, mayor, defender and teacher. He was born in Madrid, Spain, on August 16, 1944.
This female pioneer in politics is the youngest of the four children born as a result of the marriage between Enrique Becerril and Antón Miralles.
He completed formal studies in philosophy and letters at the University of Madrid. Then the Oxford English Center and the prestigious West London Collage, received it to increase his knowledge. Also the Columbia University, in which he completed a postgraduate degree in Political Science in 1970.
She moved to Seville after marrying the Marquis of Salvatierra, Rafael Atienza Medina. Their children, Soledad and Gáspar, were born from that union. Upon arriving in the province, she worked in the academic field as a teacher at the Sevilla University. In addition, he founded the Andalusian information magazine called, “The Regional Illustration”, Publication in which she served as delegate director.
Soledad’s incursion into politics
His first steps in politics began in 1974, when he became part of the Federation of Democratic and Liberal Parties. Later he joined the ranks of the Andalusian Democratic Party and the Union of Democratic Center.
In the first general elections, held after Franco’s death, it was elected deputy in six legislatures and senator in a. That victory gave him the opportunity to participate in the writing of the Statute of Autonomy of Andalusia.
Recalling that moment, Becerril recalls the importance of having had the opportunity to participate in the transition to democracy. Although at that time, 1977, what stood out was his status as woman in politics because of the 350 deputies only 21 were women.
Soledad Becerril is the first woman minister of the democratic era
Fate had in store for Soledad Becerril other opportunities to make history as a woman in politics. In December 1981, the Prime Minister Leopoldo Calvo Sotelo placed on his shoulders the responsibility of performing as the first woman minister since the restoration of democracy.
In their hands was the responsibility of carrying the culture and sport portfolio. The national and international media focused their attention on her. He remained in this position until December 1982, when he took a position in power. Felipe Gonzalez.
Becerril then went on to perform work in the private sector. She did not put aside her participation in cultural and educational activities, but she did leave the position of president of the UCD in Andalusia. Teaching was his only occupation at the time.
However, she did not stay away from politics for long. In 1989, he ran in the general elections representing the Popular Party. In those elections, she was elected as deputy for Seville.
Then, between 1990 and 1993, she served as president of the Seville Party.
First female mayor of Seville
In the municipal elections of 1995 Soledad Becerril becomes the first mayoress in the history of the municipality of Seville. For the official, this is an honor that deserves absolute dedication. She held the position between 1995 and 1999. Since then no other woman has held this position.
In 2004 she was elected senator for the province of Seville and in 2008 deputy by that electoral constituency.
First female Ombudsman of Spain
Later, an agreement between the PP and the PSOE led her to occupy the Ombudsman’s Office. It was June 2012 when she was inducted into the position. This place in the national government had not been previously occupied by a woman. Becerril held the position until July 21, 2017.
At the beginning of his tenure, he observed a crisis in economic, social, family and individual aspects. Then this trend softened.
When his term ended, he recalled attention to relevant cases, such as those presented by citizens who could not pay their mortgages or those drowned by debt. Likewise, it focused on the care of emigrants and victims of terrorism.
- 1977-1982: Deputy for Seville in the Congress of Deputies
- 1981-1982: Minister of Culture of Spain
- 1989-1996: Deputy by Seville in the Congress of Deputies
- 1991-1995: Lieutenant Mayor of Seville
- 1995-1999: Mayoress of Sevilla
- 2000-2004: Deputy for Seville in the Congress of Deputies
- 2000-2004: Third Vice President of the Congress of Deputies
- 2004-2008: Senator around Seville
- 2008-2011: Deputy for Seville in the Congress of Deputies
- 2012-2017: Ombudsman from Spain
Decorations and other distinctions awarded to Soledad Becerril
- 1982: Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Carlos III
- 1999: Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
- 2006: Andalusia Medal
- 2017: Grand Cross of the Order of San Raimundo de Peñafort
Memories of Soledad Becerril: Years of Solitude
María Soledad Becerril is part of the living history of Spain’s transition period. Your testimony of those days is valuable in learning the lessons that history leaves for the nations.
In order not to forget those experiences, Soledad Becerril decided to publish her memoirs, under the name “Years of Solitude”. One of the reflections she makes in the text is the review of the evolution of women in the political sphere. In the 70s, the positions he held generated derogatory comments about his character, origin, social status and even his wardrobe. For this reason, in her text she vindicates the role of women in this period, showing the true meaning of their public presence.
He also pays tribute to the victims of terrorist attacks, such as his friends, Councilor Alberto Jiménez Becerril and his wife Ascensión. These deaths deeply touched his life. That is why he dedicates a passage from his book, when he first narrates the details that surrounded the event.
“Years of Solitude” serves to show the new generations how the transition process was and what events made the agreed agreements possible.