Narcopisos: Spain's 'drug flats' give focus for fight against heroin threat

Neighbourhood groups want more action from police and politicians to shut down apartments
The Guardian (UK)
Monday, March 12, 2018

el ravalEmpty properties in El Raval (Barcelona), many of which are owned by banks and investment funds following Spain’s property crash, serve as distribution-points-cum-shooting galleries; places where people come to buy, smoke and inject cheap heroin. Three decades after the drugs epidemic that ravaged Spain in the 1980s, the proliferation of narcopisos in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville and Valencia is a reminder that heroin is far from gone – even if times have changed. Barcelona’s city council has spent €500,000 on securing properties in Raval and cleaning up the area, but they have limited powers and the dealers are much more agile than the courts and the police. (See also: Narcopisos: 'Drug flats' blight the heart of Spanish cities)