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Jan 6, 2021

It is a pineapple, a closed clan that protects itself from within and that, when the myth of cante had turned 70, continues to live in a traditional way in La Línea de la Concepción (Cádiz).

The Camarón de la Isla family is still led by his widow, Dolores Montoya La Chispa , who still runs a haberdashery in this town attached to Gibraltar and keeps her four children gathered around her: Gema, Rocío, Luis and José Monge Montoya.

The house of the stockings, on Calle del Teatro, the haberdashery of the widow of Camarón, is not only a meeting point for family and friends. It is also a place of pilgrimage: “An Australian boy sold his motorcycle and with the money he came to meet José’s family,” La Chispa said in an interview for EL PAÍS in 2002 .

This apparent uproar has historically formed part of the usual routine of the family, who have barely tried to follow the unrepeatable path marked out by their father, although their lives continue to revolve – always fueled by controversy – around the memory of this unrepeatable genius. In the case of Luis Monge (41 years old), not cante, but he has emerged as a flamenco guitarist.

He made his debut in Algeciras in 2004 with his albumOf good branch. Camarón Family ; and later he has created shows like Eterno Camarón , based on his father’s story. The shadow of the myth, it is clear in the trajectory of the young man, is elongated.

This is not the case of his youngest son, artistically known as Mancloy —which means prince in Calé—, Camarón’s rapper son . José (29 years old) has barely any memories of his father – he was one year old when he was orphaned – he has radically broken with the flamenco tradition, but he has Camarón’s face tattooed on his chest.

He is, without a doubt, the most controversial figure in the family. As a child he sang, but his surroundings assures that the pressure could him, all those mythomaniac eyes perched on his throat, and one day he fell silent.

Now he raps lyrics that divide his neighbors: “I’m from La Línea, I’m from La Atunara, I pass bundles at night and at dawn,” says the chorus of his latest video clip.published on YouTube last May, in which many see a clear apology for drug trafficking.

In his videos, the verses are reinforced with reflections of the pulses between drug traffickers and law enforcement, including a brutal collision between criminal vehicles against policemen.

The daughters, Gema (39 years old) and Rocío (37), married very young, following the gypsy tradition, and lead conventional lives as housewives. Even so, José Monge Cruz, Camarón de la Isla , continues to support his family.

Camarón is a brand that has not lost interest and the legend only grows over the years, as he predicted in his talisman album, The Legend of Time . They all take refuge under the mantle of protection that generates, emotionally and economically, the fact of being the heirs of José Monge Cruz .

In fact, behind the tight control of the use of the image, name, work and everything related to this artist born in San Fernando (Cádiz), the family does not hide a legitimate economic interest. The last controversy in this regard took place precisely on the day that José Monge would have turned 70 – last December 5.

The heirs decided to make public the conflict that the San Fernando City Council faces in relation to the Camarón de la Isla Interpretation Center, a museum dedicated to protecting the legacy of the flamenco singer whose construction has just finished, “but which does not have the authorization of the family for the use of the image or the brand of the cantaor, nor with the intellectual property rights “, they say in a statement.

The events date back to 2014, when the Consistory presented a museum construction project dedicated to the memory of the genius, for which an agreement was signed that, they say, included the need for the consent of the family for the transfer of image rights , intellectual property and the Camarón de la Isla brand, for which they requested financial compensation.

The heirs now denounce that this point has not been respected and in the next few days they will formalize legal actions of illegitimate interference in the use of the brand against the City Council.

At the same time, La Chispa has instructed the law firm that represents them – the Seville law firm Carrión Salamanca – to act against anyone who is making “illegal” use – always at its discretion – of the Camarón brand,

“so that soon Legal actions will be taken against anyone who manufactures, markets or mediates in the sale of merchandisingand consumer items without the corresponding license for use, ”their lawyers indicate, however, they have not wanted to answer EL PAÍS questions such as how much the value of the Camarón brand is, how much it generates per year and how its rights are managed of intellectual property.

Paradoxically, this absolute opacity is interpreted by the office as a manipulation of the press.

“Some media are distorting things, we are not talking about Camarón’s heritage, but about his brand, a legitimate question that has been claiming since before the museum was built,” they have assured in a very brief answer to questions from this newspaper. It is not yet known who will win this lawsuit. But whoever loses: Camarón and his memory.

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