Barcelona in the region of Catalonia has hit a record high number of murders – its last a Swedish woman found dead on Aug. 12 – placing it now as Spain’s most dangerous city.
Spain was amongst the European countries with less killings and crimes until 2016 and has since risen steadily with a rapid increase in July and August this year.
Today two stabbings have left two people seriously injured. In the first half of the year, violent robberies have increased by 31% with over a thousand complaints of muggings reported each week in the city’s subway stations.
The Swedish woman, aged 46, was discovered under a lorry on Monday at the Can Tunis industrial estate with her skirt raised, which marks the thirteenth assassination so far in the ‘Ciudad Condal’. Police still need to confirm the results of the autopsy.
Five people were murdered in the month of July alone, an average of one every six days. Three of them were shot, one died from a melee weapon and the other was kicked to death.
Four Eastern Europeans beat and kicked a Chinese man, aged 25, to death after he accidentally spilled his drink over one of them at a nightclub in the Puerto Olímpico area on July 28:
Puerto Olímpico residents have also reported a proliferation of prostitutes, many of whom have public sex on the street. The women, most of Nigerian origin, also offer oral sex for €20 Euros ($22 USD) to tourists leaving nightclubs in the wee hours.
A Spanish national, aged 47, received five shots of which two were lethal during a robbery on July 6 at a hairdresser that was run by his wife in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi, which is considered a good area. The man was on his way to pick up his wife when he ran into the burglar. His wife, who locked herself up in a room, survived the attack.
On July 10, a South American was stabbed in the Eixample quarter and died shortly after he was taken to hospital.
Two men were shot separately on July 12, including a Moroccan aged 36 in Poblenou who died eight days later. The other was attacked in Collblanc in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, greater Barcelona, and survived but was severely injured.
On July 26, A Moroccan stabbed an Algerian, aged 44, to death with a knife in front of several families and their children during an argument at the Folch i Torres square in Raval shortly after having had a coffee together. He died from a stab that was 15cm (6 inches) long and 3cm (1 inch) deep at the level of the heart. During the past few months, residents of the square have held several public demonstrations protesting a lack of safety in the area.
In a July report, Spanish TV channel Antena 3 Noticias (Antena 3 News) labelled Barcelona as “the most dangerous city in Spain” with twenty crimes per hour.
The broadcast affirmed police have recorded 120 crimes per 1,000 inhabitants of Barcelona and that 25% of the crimes reported for 2019 happened in the month of July.
Tired of impunity and police passiveness, Barcelonians have taken to social media creating their own Twitter account for a “collaborative platform for citizen security, a real-time mapping of assaults, narcoflats, thefts and crimes.”
The term “narcopisos”, or “narcoflats”, is a colloquial new word used in Spain to refer to flats used exclusively for drug dealing.
The City Hall fears people will take justice into their own hands. Deputy mayor Albert Batlle i Bastardas underscored that “any type of self-organization in terms of security is not acceptable.”
Residents of the Poble Sec neighbourhood in the district of Sants-Montjuïc, Barcelon’s harbour area, have created the Asociación de Vigilancia Solidario to report crimes in their area.
Prostitution among minors known as ‘Menores Extranjeros No Acompañados’ or ‘MENAS’ (Unaccompanied Foreign Minors) is common there. A young teenage girl can be seen entering a shack with different boys and receiving money in Poble Sec in this video published in June.
On Aug. 9, police arrested three people who allegedly participated in a bottle-fight the previous day killing a 45-year-old Moroccan.
Crimes and unrest have spread throughout the region of Catalonia such as in the city of Gerona where a group of illegal vendors got into a row with locals on Aug. 8 forcing police to intervene.
Forty-seven people have died with violence in Catalonia this year so far, in comparison to 44 last year. In 2018, 23% of the homicides of Catalonia occurred in Barcelona. That percentage has risen to 28% for 2019 so far.