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Entrevías, the working-class neighborhood of Madrid against the marginal stigma of a television series

There is a neighborhood in the south of Madrid that the residents built at their will in the 1950s. Between the train tracks that flank it on each side, the residents built the houses of Entrevías when it was little more than a string of vacant lots and shacks. The south of the south of the city. The scourge of heroin marked the working-class enclave, awakening a bad reputation that is still maintained and that the residents struggle to leave behind. But it is not always easy, especially when a successful television series delves into the stigmas of marginality, crime, drugs and prostitution.

of various heights, with low houses that resist the passing of the years and that welcome, in total, 35,239 population. One of them is María, who arrived in 1958 in the area known as Las Domingueras, small semi-detached chalets of no more than one height between which the filming cameras have passed. “This is a working class neighborhood, with its problems, like everyone else, but we have never seen what the series reflects. Around here you don’t find people with one gun in hand nor do you see prostitutes on every corner or young people selling drugs in every park”, says the octogenarian, showing her discomfort.

Like everyone in Entrevías, María does not understand why a fictional series is named after a real neighborhood even though many of the scenes have been recorded in other parts of the city. “Despite being workers, many of us have been able to give our children a good education and culture. We are not criminals,” he says.

A woman walks through the houses of Las Domingueras, where the series was filmed – Saint Bernard

For years, Entrevías has chained the lowest income by postal code of Madrid: 18,049 euros is the average disposable income, according to the latest IRPF report from the Tax Agency. It is followed by Pavones (19,580 euros), Villaverde-San Cristóbal de los Ángeles (20,038) and Usera (20,169).

Refering to unemployment rateaccording to the statistical portal of the Madrid City Council with data from 2020, holds the highest in the district: 15.66 compared to 13.34 in Puente de Vallecas and 11.72 in the entire city on the same date.

In what is not in the lead is in the crimes. The municipal data on citizen security, regarding interventions of Municipal police with detainees and investigations, they show that Centro is at the top of this list with 1,469 operations; Puente de Vallecas is second, with 1,086.

For 32 years, José María JH has been working as a municipal agent and 30 of them have been in the Puente de Vallecas District Unit, where he is now a police officer. “The district has increased its population for 20 years and that means that there are more problems, but the crimes are still similar and the situation is calm. In 30 years I will have come across three or four events with firearm», summarizes, about his day to day at work, this professional of the Corps who, in addition, was born in the neighborhood.

Streets of the Entrevías neighborhood, in the Puente de Vallecas district
Streets of the Entrevías neighborhood, in the Puente de Vallecas district – Saint Bernard

“Exist thefts, drug deals, but that is common in all neighborhoods. In fact, there are in areas where crime has decreased, such as in Monte Igueldo as a result of the cameras installed by the city council and the dismantling of narco-flats», he explains, and adds: «Before we had very specific drug sales ghettos that we have closed and have moved to other points not only in Vallecas, but also in Usera and Villaverde». “This is a humble, multicultural and open neighborhood,” the officer concludes.

Pilar has lived in Entrevías since she was three years old and has never come across anything similar to what the more than sixty minutes of each episode show. «What do they intend by naming it Entrevías? Just out of respect for the generation that built the neighborhood should change it, “the neighbor asks. «There is degradation, problems, delinquency… As in many others, but not with those gun and prostitution scenes“, she says: “It is dishonest and unfair to receive this treatment.”

Explanatory label

Given the discomfort, the producer of the series that is broadcast on Telecinco has decided to insert a label at the beginning of each episode clarifying that “the characters, places and events portrayed are completely fictitious and have nothing to do with the reality of the Entrevías neighborhood ». For the neighbors this is not enough. “We value that it is put on, but we are undoubtedly not satisfied. If we are in a fictional settingthe series should have received a fictitious name”, says the president of the neighborhood association La Viña de Entrevías, Manuel Martínez.

«Entrevías is a working-class neighborhood, of people who live day by day from work. There are cleaning problems, hustle and bustle…, but nobody goes with a gun », he emphasizes, and also complains about the scenarios chosen. Despite being called ‘Entrevías’, the bar in which a large part of the plot takes place is located in Villaverde Alto, as is the hardware store where the protagonist, played by José Coronado, works. His house is in the San Diego neighborhood, and the nightclub where a corrupt policeman negotiates with drug dealers is in Carabanchel. Little, or almost little, has ‘Entrevías’ of Entrevías and although the protagonist affirms that “there are sons of bitches of all colors, but they all end up here” reality shows that the series exaggerates and is wrong.

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