Island fishing hamlet demolish finally
Residents of fishing hamlet of Cho Vito on Tenerife watched helplessly as their hoses were being bulldozed after 15 years of appeal fell through.23 October 2008
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE - The last water to wash across the fishing hamlet of Cho Vito on Tenerife did not come from the sea that crashes against the rocks a few meters away, but rather from the tears of the families who watched helplessly as their homes were demolished before them.
Earlier in October, demolition crews levelled the 26 homes in compliance with a court order, the application of which was held up by 15 years of appeals by lawyers who had made an ultimately fruitless bid to exempt Cho Vito from a ban on all building within 50 meters of the shoreline.
The hamlet's inhabitants, however, are at a loss to explain why authorities who have charged them for water, electricity and made them pay taxes for decades now come along and take away their homes.
Many residents were rudely awaken by police officers who kicked in their front doors, dragged them outside and marked the façade of their home with spray paint, signalling that it was ready to be bulldozed.
The demolition crews blocked the road as residents watched the place where they had lived for 40 years demolished in front of them. One bulldozer driver refused to work and subsequently lost his job. He was a resident of a nearby town and knew some of the people affected.
But with 18,000 unemployed in the Canary Islands, the government was able to find another bulldozer driver to continue the task.
The only concession from the island's authorities is to leave six houses belonging to families who have managed to prove that they have nowhere else to go.
[El Pais / Juan Manuel Pardellas / Expatica]