Image: Antónbio Cotrim/ Lusa

Lisbon parish councils warn of upsurge in drug use in former ‘ghetto’

The leaders of Lisbon’s Campo de Ourique and Alcântara parish councils, and various civil society organisations, have expressed “great concern” today about increased drug use and trafficking in plain sight the area near where the notorious Casal Ventoso ‘neighbourhood’ once stood. They have used an Open Letter to call for urgent measures to tackle the problem. The letter is addressed to the mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas; Portugal’s minister of internal affairs, José Luis Carneiro; the PSP police; the president of the Institute for Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies (ICAD), João Goulão; the head of the Social Security Institute, Ana Vasques and the president of the Agency for Integration, Migration and Asylum, Luís Goes Pinheiro. It is not simply the drug use that worries the signatories, but the “increase in the number of homeless people” sleeping rough in the parishes, which has led to an “adverse social reaction, with many residents reporting the level of fear and perceived insecurity felt on the streets and inside buildings and lifts.”