There has been a sudden increase in reports of altercations involving migrants. A news report this morning, following altercations earlier this week, has described new incidents, on Wednesday night, involving migrants currently being housed temporarily in empty tourist establishments on the south of Gran Canaria. Three security guards are said to have been injured, one of them badly, with one migrant arrested by the Guardia Civil as one of the alleged aggressors. Two Red Cross volunteers have also reportedly been charged for their alleged participation in the fight.
The reported events of Wednesday night follow a Mogán town hall request, earlier that same day, for Guardia Civil staff numbers in the municipality be strengthened in the face of these altercations. While you can be sure that any such serious request made from a local town hall will be properly considered, the public announcement of it through publicity channels can be almost certainly seen as little more than political grand standing. Of course this would be a decision solely for the Guardia Civil command post, based in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and their headquarters in the capital Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, who in turn are commanded from Madrid.
The Mogán town hall have repeatedly demanded that migrants, temporarily being accommodated in their municipality, be removed, threatening to fine hoteliers who continue to allow “non-tourism related activities” at their premises, despite practically no tourists being able to visit due to COVID restrictions. Their demands are joined by some very vocal local residents who feel that the humanitarian effort is destroying their tourism and hospitality image. Meanwhile the Spanish government have predicted most migrant arrivals to be moved into alternative accommodations by the end of the month, having missed their original target date of end of 2020.
According to the article appearing this Thursday morning, in Spanish language daily Canarias7, at the Arguineguín Park tourist/residential complex (pictured above), an ambulance was reportedly deployed to assist some security guards who said they had been assaulted by several migrants. Guardia Civil agents arrived at the scene and had to restrain and cuff one individual, who was arrested for his aggressive behaviour. Two workers at the premises reported that they were being attacked. According to police sources consulted by Canarias7, two Red Cross volunteers also participated in this attack. When the Local Police and the Civil Guard arrived, they identified the Red Cross caregivers to denounce and charge them. One of the wounded is reported to have suffered injuries serious enough to be taken to the Hospital San Roque in Meloneras and the other is said to have been struck, but did not require medical attention. The primary aggressor, of legal age, was arrested on suspicion of having caused injuries and his alleged accomplice, also an adult male, escaped capture, although agents are now working to locate him as the Policia Local at the scene had apparently already identified him.
Then at around 8:45 pm, “within a period of no more than five minutes”, agents were alerted three more times about fights and disturbances. At the Tamanaco complex, which had been the scene of youths fighting and throwing garden furniture over balconies on Monday night, a minor, in a state of intoxication, had to be restrained allegedly for acting aggressively towards security guards.
Meanwhile, at the Nido del Águila hotel, a fight between several migrants was reported, in which the Mogán Policia Local had to intervene.
Calls were also reportedly made regarding migrants gathering in a street above Amadores and at the Barranco de Arguineguín.
Lastly law enforcement agents were called to the Canaima apartments where a minor was suffering what was described as “a presumed psychotic break”.
Gran Canaria is, and remains, one of the safest places in the world. It truly is a paradise. There has been very little by way of criminality reported here by any official sources, particularly when it comes to irregular migrant arrivals, but of course with so many strangers currently under government supervision, and difficulties in processing so many irregular individuals arriving, lots of fears are repeatedly expressed, particularly across social networks. As community I hope we all can remind each other that our strength is in our ability to work together and keep each other properly informed. There are many big problems for us still to face over the coming year.
And let’s be clear. With so many individuals crowded together, unsure of their future, and with little to lose; there will be problems. There will be occasions when the law must intervene. Let’s not create extra reasons for concern, let’s be good citizens and try to protect our communities in the right way, and help the authorities to deal with these unprecedented times.
In this particular case it seems odd that only one individual was arrested, and that red cross volunteers have been accused of participating, as well as only one major local news source this morning had reported on this list of incidents. There may have been more now, we know of some who have simply repeated the original story, but we at The Canary News have struggled to find official corroboration prior to publishing here. While we cast no doubt whatsoever on the quality of Canarias7, which upholds some of the highest standards of journalism on the island of Gran Canaria, recent events, and the last year or so, have led to an increased need for real scrutiny of all reporting that seems to come from just one unverified source. Publications such as ours often rely heavily on official sources, verifiable public statements, images and video as well as multiple publications reporting the facts, to enable us to corroborate what is written and said. We try to get it right, but you will understand that can be a very difficult job.
We strongly urge all readers, residents and visitors, to cast a critical eye over any information spread through social networks. Feeling you were right all along, is not the same as proving it. Truth matters, it is very important, especially over recent months, with multiple, very valid reasons for us all to be concerned with a much greater need for community than perhaps was there just one year ago.
We welcome all individuals who use official channels to report suspected criminality. However just posting or sharing thoughts and opinions on social networks is not the same as verifiable facts.
Absolutely the best thing any concerned citizen can do, is to ensure that law enforcement authorities are correctly informed of any worrying behaviour or instances of harm. All criminality should be reported, if we are to expect the police to understand the situation.
Suspecting someone might do something harmful, is not the same as someone having actually done something harmful. All individuals living, or visiting, here are subject to the same laws and rights. Assumptions about their status should not make a difference to that. No-one should feel unsafe, the police and other law enforcement officers are highly trained in being able to discern the merits of any reports regarding security issues. That is their job, and they are usually very good at it. Feeling intimidated is not the same as having actively been intimidated, but the authorities are there to help ensure that everyone feels secure. To make sure, to the best of their ability, that everyone is safe.
If you feel there is a criminal act occurring, or that your safety or anyone else’s is seriously at risk, you can always call the 112 emergency response number, from any telephone, and be put directly through to an operator who speaks your language, and who has the ability to communicate and coordinate with any relevant security services. Let’s not let fear overshadow our communities, let’s all work together to make sure that things are done the right way, and that good, accurate information is always available, and put it on the record.
Though we actively discourage baseless negativity, and opinions that do not stand up to the facts, we welcome all contributors to our work who supply verifiable information. Your photos and videos of what happens around you are always welcome. And we would love to work with you to help ensure English speakers always get the full story, and are not just limited to opinions expressed through fear or misinformation.
It’s ok too to dislike our work, nobody is forcing you to read it. Please always feel free to look elsewhere. We hope, however, we can foster genuine debate and active understanding of the world around us here on Gran Canaria, and in particular among the community who work so very hard to ensure this is a place of peace, tranquility, harmony and hospitality. Thank you for reading.
Timon .:. Editor-in-Chief