Group attacks and machetes: summary of a deadly night in Madrid | Madrid

A 15-year-old boy lost his life on Saturday night in front of a 24-hour McDonald’s in the center of Madrid. It was taken from him with a stab wound that burst his heart. Several witnesses say that he was attacked by a group of about eight people in the middle of the street, near the Kapital nightclub, in Atocha. An hour earlier, the Samur toilets had found a similar scene in a park in the south of the capital. A 25-year-old boy died from several machetes in the lower back. Nothing could be done to save either of them. In the same morning, three other people were seriously injured by attacks of the same characteristics, two of them in the municipality of Parla. The weapons and the mode of attack point to clashes between youth gangs as the trigger for a deadly night in Madrid, although the attacks are being investigated as separate cases.

The Police in Madrid have three groups in the information brigade dedicated to controlling and monitoring the members of youth gangs. Sources from the body insist that the number of members has not increased, but they do recognize that their attacks are “very striking” because they occur in a group and with often lethal results. They usually move in the southern part of the capital, in neighborhoods such as Villaverde or Usera, although one of the attacks on Saturday night occurred in an unusual place for this type of event, a park in the residential neighborhood of Montecarmelo, at North of the city.

One of the most surprising things is the youth of those involved in the brawls. It is common for the leaders of this type of group to recruit almost children to begin introducing them to the groups and to carry out tasks such as drug deliveries. In fact, internally, those who have not yet reached the age of 18 are called “minor”. It is also common for the smallest to carry weapons, because the penalty for minors is lower than for adults. This young age of those involved also alarms institutions such as the Madrid Prosecutor’s Office. According to the latest available memory, that of 2020, up to 18 homicides and 80 sexual assaults were committed by minors in a year marked by the pandemic, in which almost all crimes were reduced.

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Right now, the most active bands in Madrid are the Dominican Don’t Play and the Trinitarios. They are not only established in the capital, but are also very active in municipalities in the region such as Parla or Torrejón de Ardoz. It is common for many of these brawls to occur simply because members of rival gangs cross paths in the same space and at the same time. Most of the time, the reason for the confrontation is the simple identification of the other as an enemy and due to the supposed struggle for territories that several groups of this type maintain. “What worries us the most is the easy access that exists to this type of weapon, machetes, which are very harmful and can be bought easily and legally,” police sources point out.

Carlos Rodríguez, deputy inspector of the Madrid Municipal Police, expressed this same concern to EL PAÍS a few days ago. Rodríguez explained that they usually carry machetes hanging from their pants legs, inside, and that it was increasingly common to seize them in drinking areas, where alcohol increases the risk of altercations when members of rival gangs cross paths. “After a brawl in a park, we have come to collect up to seven or eight machetes and knives,” the policeman pointed out. This same agent reported that on one occasion he seized two machetes from a 16-year-old couple when they had just purchased them at a store in a shopping center. Quite naturally, they told them that they had bought them in case they ran into the rival gang in the park that night. Something that everything indicates happened in one of the attacks this Saturday in Madrid.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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