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A 70-year-old Catalan man committed suicide on Tuesday minutes after being evicted from the urban apartment where he had lived for more than 30 years with his partner. The case, in the Barcelona metropolitan city of Sabadell, has been denounced by the local branch of the housing action group PAHC, who consider that what happens "can be considered a murder perpetrated by the entire network of those who believe that the right to private property is more important than someone having a home and living in it with dignity", they said in a statement. As the media outlet Nació Digital reported, the judicial representatives carrying out the eviction went directly to the home of the victim and his incapacitated partner and, after informing them of the court order and the eviction from the home, the man left via the front door, "walked to a small hill in a nearby park and committed suicide". This is the third case in Catalonia in which a person who has lost their home is known to have died.

In the post uploaded to X, PAHC Sabadell explains that the eviction and the sad death of Àlex, "is one of the most painful stories that we have had to tell during the almost 13 years that we have been involved in this struggle." The PAHC, Platform for those Affected by Mortgages and the Crisis, claims that the couple, "over 70 years old", stopped paying their rent for a year because their financial situation left them no alternative: they prioritized continuing paying the rest of their expenses, food and basic essentials, before rent, which had became unaffordable for them." Àlex's partner has serious mobility problems and is confined to bed. In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the party tasked with the eviction arrived at the victim's house "with the sole aim of leaving them on the street", according to the PAHC, explaining that the couple had found "no alternative housing solution". At that moment, the article continues, "in a state of shock, Àlex left the home and took his own life in a nearby park." "We are filled with sadness and anger, and we can only express our solidarity and warmth with the family and their close circles," the PAHC wrote.

Sources from the Mossos police explained that the eviction was carried out by court order and that at first only the judicial respresentatives entered the property. Upon entering the flat, the court officials found the victim's wife lying in bed, and saw she had mobility problems. That's when they alerted the police who sent a team of officers. An ambulance was also activated and took the woman to a health centre to which she was admitted, given that her degree of dependence means that she cannot care for herself.

The neighbourhood "handyman"

The PAHC also explains in its text that "Àlex's family were his neighbours and he was known in the neighbourhood for being the handyman guy, who undertook repairs in the homes of everyone who asked him, and he is remembered as being very reserved but always eager to help others, even to the extent of forgetting his own needs". The text also states that the man's state of health had deteriorated in recent months and "this meant that he had to stop working and began to face financial problems at home".

The housing platform considers that what has happened to Àlex is "a murder perpetrated by the entire network of those who believe that the right to private property is more important than people having a home and living in it with dignity" and for this reason the group claims in their letter that "the actions of the judicial entourage and the police officers" should be investigated and "that the Sabadell city council should prosecute" these institutions "for forcing the man to suicide". Likewise, they demand that the municipal government assume the costs of the funeral and that, together with the Catalan government, ensure that the woman is rehoused in a dignified space "with psychological and financial support".