Each week, between Friday and Sunday, rival Latin gangs are involved in one or two confrontations on the Barcelona metro, according to the Catalan police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra (read article in Catalan here, Avui). Carles Vallès, the head of the investigation unit for the Mossos' regional area for urban transport (ARTU) said that the majority of the fights take place on L5, particularly at stops that have transfers onto other lines and close to the squares where the gangs tend to congregate. Vallès commented that they are also not averse to getting involved with scuffles with security guards as well as each other, and that the gangs are the night-time problem on the metro, while pickpockets are the day-time problem. "They check each other out, discover they are 'enemies' and start a fight," commented Francesc Xavier Sancho, head of the regional unit for attention to Barcelona citizens, who added that the gangs are taking their fights from the streets down into the metro. "The fights on the metro are minimal compared to those above ground, but in recent weeks, we've seen a number of confrontations taking place on the underground."
A man was arrested on Sunday at El Prat airport with 170 balls of liquid cocaine in his stomach, the highest number that has ever been found on a passenger arriving at Barcelona airport (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The man, of Paraguayan nationality, had triple the average amount of cocaine that is normally found on the bodies of smugglers bringing the drug through the airport. The arrest took place after the man had arrived on a flight originating in Brazil; as he was passing through the customs area, agents of the Guardia Civil became suspicious that he was transporting drugs and requested that an x-ray screening be carried out on him. Transporting liquid cocaine in the stomach is regarded as one of the most risky methods of smuggling the drug, as it is absolved much faster than when the drug is in powder form.
Some of the leading representatives for doctors working in the Catalan health system have said that proposed spending cuts will result in a "dismantling" of the system (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). Measures such as bed and operating theatre closures and extended waiting lists that will led to a reduction in the number of doctors employed by CatSalut will have this dismantling effect on the system "of which we are all so proud", according to Antoni Gallega, president of the union Metges de Catalunya (Doctors of Catalunya). He was speaking with Fernando Vizcarro, president of the council of Col·legis de Metges de Catalunya, which represents the four doctors' colleges in the region and Albert Jovell, president of the Spanish Forum of Patients. Together they called for a halt of the plans to cut health spending by 10 percent. The men also expressed their anger at the lack of consultation as they see it by the health minister, Boi Ruiz, with Catalan doctors, despite an earlier commitment to do so. Ruiz had said that clinical criteria would be considered when drawing up the plans for reducing costs, but there has been upset that this apparently has not been carried through in certain cases, such as with big public hospitals including Vall d'Hebron and Bellvitge. As a result, the minister has asked the Servei Català de Salut for the details of the negotiations with each health centre, to discover if it's true that clinical criteria were overlooked during the discussion process.