A man was discovered hanged on Thursday morning in the La Chana neighborhood in the southern city of Granada. The dead man, who has been named by police sources as 54-year-old Miguel Ángel Domingo, was due to be evicted from his property by the police under a court order.
The body was located by the man's brother, who told the police about the discovery at 9am. An hour later, a police patrol arrived to execute the eviction order. When they spoke to the officers already on the scene, they realized the victim was the object of the eviction order, according to legal sources.
The victim ran a newspaper stand in the neighborhood where he lived, while his brother ran a fruit stand next door.
Thursday's suicide case came amid renewed efforts by activists against the rash of evictions that has been seen over recent months in Spain, where unemployment is around the 25 percent mark and 1.7 million households don't have a single member in work.
An hour after the man's body was found, a police patrol arrived to execute an eviction order
On Tuesday, members from the Stop Desahucios (or, Stop evictions) group, which is part of the Granada branch of the 15-M popular protest movement, held a demonstration in Maracena to show their support for a resident of the neighborhood, Raquel Muñoz, who is subject to an eviction order that is due to be carried out on October 30.
According to the group, Muñoz, who is separated and lives with her three young children, lost her job in 2009. Unable to meet her mortgage repayments, the BBVA bank took possession of the property in June 2011.
Despite repeated attempts to come to an agreement on smaller repayments, the bank has rejected such plans and is trying to get Muñoz out of the house, along with her three children, by the end of the month.
In Madrid, 50 people who are being threatened with eviction after falling behind on their mortgage repayments have spent the past three nights sleeping rough outside the capital's biggest branch of Bankia, near the central Puerta del Sol. They are calling for an agreement from Bankia to avoid around 60 families losing their homes.
Organized by the Platform for the Mortgage Affected in Madrid, and by a number of neighborhood 15-M groups, the sit-in began on Monday, and will continue, they say, until they secure concessions from Bankia.
Seven of Spain’s judges have written a report that is highly critical of the way evictions are being carried out in Spain, pointing out that the relevant legislation was created in 1909. State aid being handed out to banks should also go to those who are losing their homes, the magistrates write in the report, to which EL PAÍS has had access.
The text goes on to speak of the “mala praxis of the major banks,” and proposes a series of measures to protect families who are on the verge of being evicted.
However, on Wednesday the legal watchdog, the CGPJ, decided not to debate the report given that its content had not been formally approved by all of the judges who created it.