Man commits suicide in Barcelona after being evicted from City Council apartment

The victim was 55 years old and was squatting in a council apartment granted to his mother

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A vehicle of the Guardia Urbana in Barcelona in an archive image.

BarcelonaA 55-year-old man committed suicide this Monday in front of the workers who were evicting him from a council apartment where he lived in the Bon Pastor neighbourhood of Barcelona. The events took place at three o'clock in the afternoon in Sèquia Madriguera street, in the district of Sant Andreu, after the eviction was completed. The man accessed the apartment despite the fact that the bailiffs were working to block access with a new lock and, once inside, according to La Vanguardia, he went out onto the balcony threatening to jump off. This led several neighbours to call the emergency services. The emergency services tried to dissuade him, but in the end he jumped off into the void with the help of a chair.

The flat had officially been awarded to the man's mother, but he had entered the apartment and started squatting years ago. This was not the first eviction attempt and council sources have told Efe a handover of keys had been agreed after the first eviction attempt, scheduled for fifteen days ago, was postponed. The reason behind the eviction were "repeated cases of serious conflict with neighbours", which date back to 2019, although the Council claims the man had been offered social assistance and monitoring at all times.

Barcelona City Council expressed its deep regret over the events and Housing councillor Lucia Martin will call a press conference to give details of the case once she gathers all the available information. Meanwhile, Ciudadanos spokeswoman in Barcelona, Luz Guilarte, has publicly lamented "the tragedy that repeats itself and which is a risk for those who may be in extreme social vulnerability." "We will ask the council for explanations about what protocols of care and housing alternatives were provided to the victim," she tweeted.