Valencia Bulldozes 10 Romani Families, Now Homeless
|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||17 January 2005|
|Region||E [ Europe ]|
- Land area (square meters)
|- Total value|
|- Number of homes|
|- Total value €|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
Bulldozers in Valencia Leave Ten Romani Families Homeless |
The local daily newspaper El Levante reported on 18 January 2005, that early in the morning of 17 January, bulldozers owned by the private company Derribos y Contratas Fernandez Toledo, subcontracted by Valencia municipal authorities and accompanied by local police, arrived at the informal Cabanyal Romani settlement and demolished several publicly-owned buildings in which Roma had been living rendering approximately ten Romani families homeless. On 10 February, the Valencia-based non-governmental organisation Cooperación Social Universitaria (CSU) informed the ERRC that no representative of the municipal authority was present while the demolition and forcible eviction were carried out, and that the families had not been given official notice of their imminent eviction, although, according to El Levante, the evictions and demolition had been planned since December 2004. The CSU also reported that a further forty Romani families from the same settlement, which has existed for four years, face forcible eviction. Valencia authorities have refused to give a specific date for the eviction and demolition of the remaining homes. The local daily newspaper La Provincias reported on 18 January that the remaining evictions could happen at any time. El Levante further reported that since before Christmas, the settlement had been without water and electricity by order of the town hall and a water fountain near the settlement was shut down in January.
The affected families have told the CSU that they have been offered only three days temporary shelter and financial assistance for one month of rented accommodation. The evicted families were living in tents provided by CSU on the site of their former homes. As of 8 April 2005 only two of the evicted Romani families had been granted a house by the local government. The CSU also informed the ERRC that only three of the affected Roma have a permanent job, while the rest are presently unemployed. The head teacher of the nearby Santiago Apostol elementary school was reported by El Levente as having expressed fear that as a result of the evictions, nearly one hundred children would not be able to attend school and lose their academic year.
On 23 May police visited the settlement and told the remaining families that they were to leave within fourty-eight hours. However, Town Council Minister for Urban Affairs Marta Torrado announced the following day that the evictions would not take place until the end of the school year. On 28 June the remaining buildings were demolished. None of the families were provided with alternate accommodation.
(El Levante, La Provincias, CSU)
To view the full text of the letter of concern sent to Ms Rita Barberá, Mayor of Valencia, see attached.