Three days after their arrival in Tenerife, which they had no qualms about announcing on social networks, three members of the company Desokupacreated by Daniel Esteve on the Peninsula, are kept in a building in San Isidro, in Granadilla de Abona, with the aim of “unoccupying”, together with other incorporated members on the Island, a building in San Isidro, in Passion fruit. They arrived on Wednesday at six in the morning and broke down doors to gain access to the roof and closed off with a steel door – the so-called anti-squatters– the entrance to the tanks and solar panels that until that day provided water and electricity to a hundred residents who reside there, some for 15 years, as squatters in a building whose owner is unknown, since in the registration is still listed as ‘land’ and of course does not have a certificate of occupancy.
The alleged owner of the property hired this company with the intention, as stated Daniel Esteve, to empty the water containers located on the roof due to the risk of collapse. However, the squatters consider that it is a measure of pressure to kick them out. For now, all the neighbors remain in their apartments, and platforms such as Vivienda Digna Montaña Clara or neighborhood groups such as those of the nearby Las Acacias building, take turns on guard duty so that the “desokupas” do not enter them and “take over of them” without a court order to protect them, as pointed out by Óscar López, a member of these two groups. “Here -he points out- they have only entered with a search by an expert, but without any court order, although they have had the approval of the Civil Guard,” he explained.
During that Wednesday morning there were moments of great tension between the company and the neighbors. Daniel Esteve, owner of ‘Desokupa’, assures that this measure has been taken due to “risk of collapse”, since the neighbors “have filled the terrace with illegal deposits”.
Moreover, Esteve acknowledged, that on behalf of the owner – who refused to give his name – they have offered alternatives to the neighbors to reach agreements to regularize the situation, some offering them 1,500 or 2,000 euros. Through his lawyer, according to Esteve, they are also offered “a symbolic rent.” In eight weeks they must leave the property and “the property helps them financially so that they can go to another place.”
The “squatters”, however, are reluctant to leave, because they claim they have no knowledge of any owner and had permission from the City Council to occupy those homes and install the water tanks and solar panels, they said. Desokupa, however, affirm that they had the permission of the City Council to place the steel doors and close the roof, something that is denied by the council, which only speaks of a registration permit.
For some residents, limiting their access to supplies is like “a death sentence.” Joana Trujillo, spokeswoman for the platform Vivienda Degna Montaña Clara, considers it a way of “force, intimidate, scare and coerce” them to leave.
Meanwhile, some of them have already received the date of the eviction trial for mid-May.
Just as the anti-eviction groups denounce attacks by Desokupa, even by the Police, Daniel Esteve wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday that “the squatters react violently and this afternoon they attack a cameraman and a journalist in addition to confronting the Civil Guard of the zone that proceed to the arrest of two squatters. Great performance of the Civil Guard and the Local Police of the municipality against this group of squatters who intend to continue squatting without even paying the rent of 450 euros offered by the property. We will continue on the island until the end of the desokupacion”, signing with Desokupamanda.