After nearly ten years, the situation at number 4 Camino de Villaflora in Torremolinos took a turn for the better this week. The people who had been squatting in this block of apartments are being evicted by a company which specialises in this type of action. The squatters were occupying 16 of the homes, and the last ones are now packing up their belongings. Very soon, the owner of the building will be able to take possession of it again.
Exit Okupas is the company responsible for their departure. Álex Caro, one of the four partners, says his staff blocked the access door to the building, so that if the people living there without permission went out, they couldn't get back in. They acted legally, and were contracted by the building's owner. "We act as mediators. We are helping the occupants with their move and my partners and I even paid for a woman who really didn't have anywhere to spend the night to stay in a hotel," says Caro.
They found the apartments in a poor condition, especially the car park where there was a lot of rubbish and an electrical generator had been connected, posing a fire risk. Inside the building they even found a marihuana plantation.
And so ends a period of occupation which began in 2012, when several people took over apartments in the block. Some then registered that as their address at the town hall. A local lawyer, José Cosín, expressed his surprise that the owner of the building had resorted to this. "Residents of that block have a trial coming up in a few months to have the squatters evicted," he says.