The arrival of the Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, on a bike to an informal ministerial meeting on the environment and energy held in Valladolid on July 10 has sparked controversies and disinformation that have gone viral at an international level, such as the claim that she arrived in the city on the Falcon, the Spanish Government’s official airplane. She is also accused of having ridden a bike only for the last few meters to the venue while the rest of the journey was supposedly done by car.
According to the images published in the media, it is possible to verify that she cycled, at least, 900 meters. Maldita.es has accessed to the records of the public bike service in Valladolid, called "BIKI," which Teresa Ribera and her two companions used, confirming the journey of at least 900 meters between the Plaza Zorrilla bike station and the Plaza Poniente bike station. The journey from the hotel to the bike station (300 meters) could not be independently verified by Maldita.es.
The hoax of Ribera's Falcon trip to Valladolid
"To go to Valladolid (which is 58 minutes away by AVE), she used the Falcon [jet]". This is one of the posts claiming that the Minister for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Teresa Ribera, travelled on the Falcon jet on July 10 to the Climate Summit held in Valladolid.
This is a hoax. The Minister announced on July 9 that she was "on her way to Valladolid" on her Twitter account to attend a meeting of environmental Ministers within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union, and she had already posted a photo in Valladolid before the Falcon jet’s scheduled landing time as shown in the disseminated contents. Initially, her Ministry claimed that she had made the trip by train on July 9, but they have changed their version and clarified that she travelled by car to Valladolid. Maldita.es has not been able to independently verify the use of this means of transport for the journey.
The disseminated contents share a screenshot from the website 'falcondespega.es', which shows a flight between Torrejón de Ardoz, a municipality in the Community of Madrid, and Medina de Rioseco (Valladolid) landing at 10:57 a.m. on July 10.
At that time, Minister Ribera was already in Valladolid, as explained in a tweet from her Ministry, published at 10:37 a.m., stating that she "arrives at the first session of the Valladolid IM [interministerial meeting]." The tweet includes a picture of the Minister riding one of the public bicycles from the bike-sharing service of the city of Castilla y León called "BIKI."
You can read the full debunk in this other Maldita.es article.
Teresa Ribera and her bike arrival at the summit: the journey was at least 900 meters, not 100 as claimed by disinformers
Other publications criticise Ribera for allegedly riding a bike for only the last few meters to the climate meeting: "She travels in a convoy, and 100 meters before reaching the venue, she gets off and takes a bike, while her two security cars follow her," says one of these contents (translated from English).
The Minister arrived at the meeting on July 10 riding a bike from the public service of the Valladolid City Council, escorted by official cars. According to the images that have appeared in the media, Maldita.es has verified that she made a bike trip of at least 900 meters. The ministry claims that she made the entire journey between the hotel and the meeting location alongside the escort cars and has provided Maldita.es with the bike rental records.
Maldita.es has compared the identification number of one of the reservations, which matches the identification number of the bike that Minister Ribera was riding in the videos of her arrival at the meeting. The Ministry has not provided the complete itinerary from the hotel, citing security reasons. Maldita.es has not been able to independently verify the journey from the hotel to the bike pickup point.
Maldita.es has had access to the records of the public bike service in Valladolid, called "BIKI," used by Teresa Ribera and her two companions, provided by the ministry.
In these records, it can be verified that three bikes were rented on July 10, at 9:31 a.m., 9:32 a.m., and 9:49 a.m., at the docking station 009 - Plaza Zorrilla, and all three were returned a little later, at 10:10 a.m., at station 007 - Plaza Poniente, near the museum where the event with the Ministers was taking place.
One of them, bike number 5068, is the one used by Minister Ribera, as can be seen in the images shared by the ministry [min. 0:03] for media distribution.
Teresa Ribera cycled through several streets of Valladolid by bike, according to the images published in the media
According to the images published in the media, it can be seen that she made a journey of at least 900 meters, which is also confirmed by the bike rental records between the Plaza Zorrilla docking station and the Plaza Poniente docking station. The journey from the hotel to the bike station (300 meters) could not be independently verified by Maldita.es.
One of the images of Ribera's journey was taken on Calle de San Ildefonso, at number 2, as can be seen by comparing one of the recordings of the Minister with Google Street View images. In this comparison, details such as a pipe and a doorway coincide, as well as marks on the facade.
In the news report of Televisión Española on July 10 [min. 16:43], these images of Teresa Ribera riding a bike on a street with open traffic were also broadcasted. In these images, she can be seen passing through the intersection between Paseo de Isabel la Católica and Puente de Isabel la Católica.
Later, she also passes through the intersection between Paseo de Isabel la Católica and Plaza del Poniente.
In the images distributed by Europa Press, which appear in the circulating contents on social media, the Minister can be seen entering Calle Jorgue Guillén, bound for the Patio Herreriano Museum of Art, where the meeting was taking place, accompanied by the escort cars.
She covered a distance of at least 900 meters by bike
The distance between the first street that appears in the distributed images and the entrance to the museum for the event is, at least, 900 meters, according to the calculation made on Google Earth by Maldita.es.
Disinformation about Teresa Ribera's trip to Valladolid has crossed borders
Within hours, the hoax of the false Falcon flight of the Vice-president was already gaining much attention outside Spain. It was spread among their millions of followers by popular figures in the United States, such as FOX News host Sean Hannity, Charlie Kirk, psychologist Jordan B. Peterson, or Benny Johnson, as well as British MP Andrew Bridgen or profiles with millions of followers dedicated to sports information like Barstool Sports. This misinformation was also echoed in an commentary in the Wall Street Journal.
Primera fecha de publicación de este artículo: 13/07/2023