The Mayor of Malaga since 2000, De la Torre was re-elected by absolute majority on three consecutive occasions leading the list of the Partido Popular (PP) party in 2003, 2007 and 2011. He won the elections in 2015 by simple majority, achieving the investiture with the support of the Ciudadanos party. In 2019, he has revalidated the majority by extending it to 14 city council members, being vested mayor with the votes of the PP and the two city council members from the Ciudadanos party with whom he has signed an agreement to govern in coalition.
He is vice president of the Bureau of the Euro-Mediterranean Regional and Local Assembly (ARLEM) representing the Council of Municipalities and Regions of Europe (CMRE) and other associations since 2012, a position for which he was proposed again in February 2021, and vice president until 2020 of the Euro-Mediterranean Association of Local and Regional Authorities (COPPEM).
He chaired the Finance and Mobility and Accessibility Commission of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP). He has been Vice President of the Andalusian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces and a member of the Congress of Local and Regional Powers of the Council of Europe.
He was the Delegate from Malaga for the UCD party between 1977 and 1982, and a Senator from Malaga for the PP party between 2011 and 2014. He was President of the Provincial Council of Malaga and Minister of Economy, Finance and Tourism of the first Pre-autonomic Board of Andalusia.
He was awarded in 2017 by the French Republic with the Legion of Honour for his role as an exceptional collaborator with France in cultural matters. In 2018, he received the Russian Federation Pushkin Medal for the promotion of cultural ties between Russia and Spain; and in 2019, he was awarded the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Distinction for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of friendly relations between Japan and Spain.
In 2020, he is appointed a member of the Advisory Council of UNITAR, The United Nations Institute for Training and Research. This agency ensures that the quality standards adopted in accordance with UNITAR’s mandate and UN guidelines are respected and well integrated into all activities of both the agency and the CIFAL Global Network.