Eighty-year-old María Parrilla Álamo spent most of the holidays in jail after she was unable to post $20,000 bail. Through the intervention of the Organization for the Rights of Our Elderly she was transferred to a home for the elderly.
By THE STAR STAFF
A Superior Court judge in Fajardo postponed to Feb. 2 a hearing to determine if 80-year-old María Parrilla Álamo should go to trial for threatening her 35-year-old granddaughter with a machete, a case that has been called an example of the exploitation of the elderly that is rampant in Puerto Rico.
Parrilla Álamo spent most of the holidays in jail after she was unable to post $20,000 bail. Through the intervention of the Organization for the Rights of Our Elderly (OPA), she was transferred to a home for the elderly.
The case has attracted attention because even though Parrilla Álamo’s granddaughter, Sol Rivera Álamo, has since Dec. 1 been under a court order to vacate her grandmother’s house, she is still living there while her grandmother is in custody.
OPA spokeswoman Noemí Rodríguez told the STAR that Parrilla Álamo sought an order to get her granddaughter out of the house after noticing that money and her medication pills went missing and “other worse things.”
Rivera Álamo’s mother, who is one of Parrilla Álamo’s three daughters, is in prison for attempted murder. The other two daughters live in the mainland United States.
On Dec. 23, Rivera Álamo filed a complaint against her grandmother for threatening her with a machete. Parrilla Álamo was working on her garden when the incident took place, Rodríguez said.
Parrilla Álamo has denied the charges, Rodríguez said. She could not confirm allegations that the granddaughter tricked her grandmother into posing with the machete for a photo and then used it to back up the complaint against her. Judge Orlando Puldón sent her to jail after she was unable to post bail.
Rodríguez said the OPA decided to intervene in the case upon learning that Parrilla Álamo had spent the holidays in a Bayamón jail because no one paid her bail. She said area neighbors had no complaints about the octogenarian.
“We were not allowed to pay her bail because we are not related to her nor have known her for five years,” Rodríguez said. “They needed guarantees that she would show up in court.”
The OPA spokeswoman did not know the reasons why the judge sent Parrilla Álamo to a home for the elderly home instead of her house.
“She drives and is very capable of returning to her home,” she said.
Rodríguez also noted that since the elderly woman’s arrest, her car keys, her home keys and her cell phone have gone missing.
“The other two daughters have not called her,” she added.