"A safe district, is a district with life in it", another view about the murders in the Otxarkoaga district of Bilbao

  • The murders which took place in the Otxarkoaga district of Bilbao on the 18th of January have started a debate. Karlos Renedo, a member of Otxarkoaga local association, does not agree with the point of view expressed in much of the media and by many individuals.

Andoni Mikelarena @andonimik
2018ko urtarrilaren 25a
(Photo: Ignacio Perez)

On Thursday a man and a woman were found dead on the outskirts of Bilbao, in a house in Otxarkoaga. Everything pointed to their having been killed during a burglary. The Basque Autonomous Police took charge of the investigation and they arrested three minors believed to be connected with the case. There was a demonstration in the district on the following day to denounce the killing and demand more security.

But local Karlos Renedo does not agree with Bilbao mayor Juan Mari Aburto's view of security. "Aburto mixes security up with the police and cameras. A safe district is one with life in it", wrote the Otxarkoaga stakeholder on Twitter. "According to the statistics, Otxarkoaga is the area of Bilbao with the second smallest number of crimes", he added.

It is important to look at the district's origins when talking about current problems. Otxarkoaga is a working-class district. There was mass immigration into the area some decades ago; Renedo says that "many of our forebears came here in exchange for their cheap labour".

Nowadays, too, there are great social differences. Compared with other parts of Bilbao, income is three times lower. "For years investment in the district has been very low compared with that in other areas", the young man complains. He believes that the consequences of that lack of investment are being felt today.

He says that the problems in Otxarkoaga should be dealt with using "an overall approach. Economic activity, town planning, education, repairing buildings, public services… They are essential components towards any solution".

 

This article was translated by 11itzulpen; you can see the original in Basque here.

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