Category: investigation

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 31 March – 2 April 2023


 A glorious first weekend of April ahead and the beginning of the christian Holy Week “Semana Santa”, diligently observed in Spain. There will be many religious acts and processions throughout the week around the island, especially in the capital.  Don’t forget it’s also April fools’ on Saturday even though it isn’t a tradition in Spain, there will be those who will take the whimsical opportunity for some hilarity. The Mercado Inglés is on at The British Club of Las Palmas and there is also an authentic Canarian rural fair to visit this weekend in the traditional mountain market town of San Mateo.

Gran Canaria Weather: Yellow Warnings – Up to 36ºC, in the shade, expected on the south, high temperatures with strong winds and calima expected to affect all The Canary Islands this week

The Spanish State Meterological Agency, AEMET, has issued yellow warnings for heat, calima haze and strong winds this week on the Canary Islands forecasting high temperatures of up to 34ºC expected on several islands. An alert has been issued due to a risk of forest fires on Gran Canaria as the mix of dry weather, strong winds and high temperatures has led to concerns over coming days.

Wild fires Alert on Gran Canaria this Wednesday, with temperatures set to exceed 34ºC in the shade

Springtime has only just begun and already the temperatures, in the shade, on Gran Canaria have been repeatedly hitting the low to mid-thirties, which brings with it also a rising risk of Forest Fires and Wildfires.  Here in the Canary Islands forest fire crews are well versed in tackling an occasional mountain blaze, with alert levels often following the basic informal rule of thumb, the so-called 30/30/30 rule, putting the authorities on alert whenever the temperature is set to rise above 30ºC in the shade, the humidity levels drop below 30% and sustained winds are forecast at faster than 30kmph.  Common sense and preparation help the general population to avoid injury in the event of a fire taking hold.


The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 24-26 March 2023

Plum tree blossoming in Tenteniguada March 2023
It’s the last weekend of March already and Spring is here; winter is behind us and the summer weather is already hotting up on Gran Canaria. The hillsides are in full bloom, particularly up in the mountain summits; it’s Carnival Weekend in Arguineguín and the last of the carnival festivities for this year are happening around the island. With summer just around the corner, clocks Spring forward this Saturday and Sunday night when 1am becomes 2am 🕐. On the north of the island, one of the biggest seasonal trade fairs is happening, gathering produce and people from 11 municipalities, ENORTE will be celebrated in the historic Rum capital of the island, Arucas, this weekend.


La Alcaldesa, the mayoress of Mogán, investigations continue before the courts, after trying to block Guardia Civil from looking at municipal files

La Alcaldesa, O. Bueno, was called on Thursday, before the judge, to defend why she ordered her IT manager to stop Guardia Civil access to town hall computers after her arrest, not for the first time, back in September 2020.  The case is just one of the several derived from the latest round of allegations, which came to light after the 2015 local elections, accusing her and her people of dodgy dealing and electoral fraud, having been accused of orchestrating a vote buying plot with a local business man who materially benefitted from the relationship, both financially and in terms of municipal service contracts. The the original case had to be shelved, as the investigation ran out of time to bring charges under Spain’s statutes of limitations, in essence a technicality, but several other investigations have continued through the courts.

Something smelly in the waters of Mogán: Police close Playa de Mogán beach again, for the third time this summer

Playa de Mogán beach was closed yet again this week and bathing was prohibited, on Wednesday, when fecal contamination was detected in its waters. Independent Spanish-language news portal for the south of Gran Canaria, El Sur Digital Gran Canaria, reported subsequently that Mogán Town Council workers removed the delimiting tape closing the beach to bathers in Playa de Mogán at around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.

Police investigate dead body found in the Los Frailes ravine, between Tauro and Taurito, in municipality of Mogán

Guardia Civil Judicial Police are investigating the death of one Juan José VJ; a 53 year old resident of Santa Lucía de Tirajana, originally from Ingenio, who was found dead on Friday afternoon in a waterway channel, in the Los Frailes ravine, in the municipality of Mogan. The body appears to have had various injuries, so agents are trying to determine if these were made by another person or if it was due to an accidental fall.

The discovery was reported at around 8 p.m. on Friday when a citizen notified the main 112 Emergency and Security Coordination Centre (Cecoes) saying they had found the body of a man at the bottom of the ravine, located near the GC-500 coastal highway and between the urbanisations of Tauro and Taurito. Mogán Policia Local and the Guard Civil travelled to the scene in the first instance, and corroborated the information given.
The emergency room also deployed the local Fire Department, from the Puerto Rico Park Consortium, and Mogán Proteccion Civil in anticipation that the transfer of the body would take some time as it was located in an area ​​difficult to access. Investigators appeared at the scene to analyse the surroundings and the corpse, as did the judicial authorities.
The initial investigation lasted for several hours until, at around 3am on Saturday morning, the body was transferred to the Institute of Legal Medicine in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where an autopsy has been carried out to determine the causes of death. The firefighters, with the support of Proteccion Civil, had to lift the body with a truck crane using an articulated arm to remove the man from the ravine channel.
Agents located the victim’s belongings about 200 meters from the place he was found. Sources consulted point out that the Judicial Police from the Puerto Rico – Mogán Guardia Civil main post participated in the investigation, having received support from their colleagues in the Las Palmas Command, due to the possibility that this was a homicide. The first inspection of the body determined that there were various injuries, although it remains to be understood if they were due to a fall, as the man was found at a bottom of a five meter drop, or if this could have been due to an assault.
While the first responders were working at the scene, the 112 emergency room also reported burning vegetation in the Amadores ravine that had to be extinguished by the Fire Department of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, as the Puerto Rico crews were engaged in this operation.
An ambulance from the SUC Canary Islands Health Service also participated at the scene of the death.

Police seek possible victims of Patalavaca masseur accused of sexual abuse and videoing his clients

The Guardia Civil’s Judicial Police Team in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria (Mogán), as part of Operation Kurnia, has investigated a 59-year-old German for seven crimes of sexual abuse and intimacy. The man, who runs a massage parlour located in Patalavaca, on the south of Gran Canaria, is accused of having taken advantage of his clients by touching and/or recording them with hidden cameras over more than a decade between 2005 and 2020.

The investigation began all the way back in February 2020, following a complaint from the mother of a 15-year-old girl, reporting alleged sexual abuse while she was receiving a massage, without physical evidence that directly demonstrated the commission of these sexual abuses, an investigation was launched.
The Guardia Civil went to the Massage Centre to carry out the initial checks of the possibility of a crime, and discovered that in the massage room, where the alleged sexual abuse took place, there was a spy camera recording the massage table area.
They obtained 82 video files with recordings of some 20 naked women receiving massages from the man under investigation
As a result of the visual technical inspection and a search of the public establishment, investigators seized all devices on site suspected of being able to store videos and images of the alleged victims, detecting a second device with a hidden camera.
Throughout the investigation, the Guardia Civil studied and forensic analysed memory devices, on which at least 82 video files were found, containing recordings of some 20 naked women who had received massages while the women were seemingly unaware that they were being recorded with the hidden cameras.
The suspect had been running the massage centre in a tourist and residential complex in Patalavaca for more than a decade with a large portfolio of Spanish and foreign clients.
Locating the victims
Investigators have requested collaboration with German police authorities, to assist with a case of a German victim, dating back to 2005 having been discovered.
The alleged perpetrator has been detained by order of Investigating Court No. 1 in San Bartolomé de Tirajana
The various lines of inquiry over time led the investigators to identify three women, a minor and two adults, who had been recorded naked with spy cameras without their consent between the years 2019 and 2020. The minor, a girl, and an adult women had been victims of sexual abuse in the performance of massages, amounting to a total of four victims, increasing the criminal charges against the suspect. The Court of Instruction No. 1 of San Bartolomé de Tirajana ordered his detention in prison without bail.
Request for citizen collaboration
The Guardia Civil are continuing to analyse the images in order to locate and identify other women captured by the video recordings. For this reason, they have requested citizen collaboration, and in particular, national and/or foreign women who may have been victims of unreported sexual abuse in the municipality of Mogán, whilst recieving a professional massage, and/or suspect that they may have been recorded without their consent between 2010 and 2020.
If you have any type of information in this regard, you can directly contact the Judicial Police Team in Puerto Rico by calling the telephone number 928 15 27 20 or by email at


Canary Islands Migration: Ukraine war exasperating food shortages, poverty and unrest in the West African Sahel

Special ReportTimon .:.
Without being overly sensationalist, it would be fair to say that, a perfect storm has been brewing for some time in Western Africa.  The Canary Islands is a region on the frontier, and needs to avoid allowing fear to drive decision making.
The war in Ukraine may seem very far away, however the disruption to global cereal supplies, those blocked in Black Sea ports, or worse still not harvested all, is adding a growing food crisis to the problems that already existed. There are reports this is now beginning to fuel riots and social unrest in the Sahel, putting at risk the difficult balance that has been maintained over the last two years or so. These problems are not new.
 Feature Image© UNOCHA: Michele CattaniA young woman carries water in a camp for displaced people in Tillaberi region, Niger.

Food shortages in this vast arid region, which includes Senegal, Gambia, Mauritania, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Nigeria, could easily become the final straw for several populations already suffering extreme hardship, and ever-increasing water poverty, as well as the active presence of jihadist groups looking to control resources and establish North African strongholds, which in turn attracts Russian mercenaries, like the Wagner Group (a secretive military organisation who prop up enfeebled governments often suffering from corruption themselves, in return for vast wealth and natural resources, and who, though they claim to be independent, in fact have very strong proven links to the Kremlin). Then there are the various types of organised crime that flourish in such environments. All of which gives rise to extreme circumstances, including forced displacements of native populations, and violent conflict.
Economic paralysis caused by the pandemic has been compounded by the withdrawals of international support troops, cuts to funding for NGOs on the ground, runaway inflation, unpredictable harvests ever more pronounced due to climate change, high population growth rates (between 2.8% and 3.8%) and growing hunger.  The UN have warned of the coming “Unprecedented Hunger Crisis”
Once again, as happened in 2019 and 2020, various organisations and institutions are now warning that a new wave of migration will be headed towards Europe.
The Canary Islands stand at Europe’s southernmost frontier. While Western Sahara is just over 100km east of here, occupied and controlled by Morocco whose US military and diplomatic ties grow ever-stronger; the Mauritanian coasts, to the south east, are just 778 kilometres away; and Senegal is further south still, some 1,311km from here, almost exactly the same distance to the north separates Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from Cádiz. Even if it is not yet evident to everyone, the archipelago really is in the middle of all this.
This week an action plan, drawn up in Brussels, assessing the ongoing consequences of the war in Ukraine, gravely points to the likelihood of “a catastrophic famine” in the countries of North Africa. An internal report commissioned by the European Council warns that the tension Ukraine adds to the situation with food security increases the risk of triggering “new waves of migration to the EU” with Spain and Italy on the front line.
The European Council estimate around 30% of global maize and wheat supplies come from Ukraine and Russia, with at least 20 million tons unable to leave Ukrainian ports and that 47 million more people will likely be affected by acute food insecurity in 2022

Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, who is also the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, this week wrote:
“For several decades, hunger was declining and the international community committed to end it globally by 2030 with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted in 2015. However, since then, the number of undernourished people has stopped decreasing and the COVID-19 pandemic has already made things much worse. The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that this number has risen from 132 million people before the COVID-19 pandemic to 276 million in early 2022 and 323 million today.”

Europe estimates that 40 million tons of cereal are blocked in the Black Sea ports
EU Member States this month managed to unblock progress on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum,  just a few days ago, reaching an agreement on a voluntary solidarity mechanism for the distribution of refugees. It underlines that relocations should primarily benefit the countries within the Union that face landings after search and rescue operations both in the Eastern Atlantic – the Canarian route – and in the Mediterranean.  There are those who believe this pact does not go anywhere near far enough, with “voluntary solidarity” having already so often failed to function as intended, leaving the countries and regions of first contact to try to cope with increasing arrivals.
Food security: EU to step up its support to African, Caribbean and Pacific countries in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
A total of 8,582 people have arrived already this year to the Archipelago, between January and June 15, which is 2,884 more people than during the same period last year, in fact 50.4% more; while the 3,478 maritime arrivals to the Balearics and Mainland are significantly lower (-26.7% year on year), the canary islands figures actually produce an overall increase of more than 14% for maritime arrivals, and nearly 20% overall, when you include arrivals by land. Even with the so-called “Good neighbours” treaty having been signed in April, between the Spanish and Moroccan governments, which entailed much greater controls over migrants leaving for Spain, the continued increase in numbers arriving to these islands has been a shock to those trying to deal with the consequences of these migratory flows.  Perhaps less so for those trying to shift attention on to the origins and causes.

Western Sahara, a government in exile, and the longest offshore gas pipeline in the world:
Despite Spain’s best efforts, recently, to work with Morocco on prevention, resulting in reports of much higher numbers of migrants now being stopped from leaving Moroccan shores on open boats, it seems the numbers attempting the crossing to this archipelago are still climbing.  This comes even as Spain has appeared to perform an about turn, on their entrenched position of recent decades regarding Western Sahara, by offering tacit support to Morocco’s settlement proposals, which, at first glance, seem to disregard decades of concerted resistance from the native population, many tens of thousands of whom have lived in refugee camps for nearly 50 years now (represented by the Polisario government in exile, and cautiously supported by Algeria), as well as apparently discarding decades of opposition from the UN and other EU member states.  It’s clear that much more will need to be done to try to stem the migratory flows, which have their origins in countries across the Sahel.
Gas pipelines planned to connect Nigeria with Morocco & Europe
There are, too, many more reasons for concern in the region, with increased US military support for Morocco, and Algeria’s longstanding opposition to the nearly half a century of illegal occupation in Western Sahara, not to mention the now well-established plans for two major gas pipelines stretching from Nigeria to the mediterranean, both connected to Morocco, one straddling Algeria, and the other, Atlantic pipeline, set to connect 13 West African countries to the Nigerian gas fields, including Benin, Togo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania, and through those territories to the mediterranean coast and then, it is planned, Europe.
According to a press release issued by the Australian company Worley, the company chosen to carry out the preliminary studies for the project and design the pipeline:

“When completed, the more than 7,000-kilometre-long pipeline, promoted by Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), will connect Nigeria to Morocco, cross 13 West African countries and extend to Europe. It will be the longest offshore pipeline in the world and the second longest overall”. 

Here on the Islands, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs have not yet dismantled the camps they so hastily, and belatedly, set up in 2020 as a result of the migratory rebound (which had been warned of for at least a year prior). 23,023 individuals arrived on these shores, during the initial period of pandemic responses, compounding problems was a complete ban on international travel, with tourists unable to fly and migrants unable to leave.  It was the largest surge of arrivals since what is known as “the crisis of the cayucos” back in 2006, when the Canary Islands received 31,678 migrants arriving on open boats and cayucos (small, open canoe-like boats). The Ministry has instead, quietly, launched improvement works to the Temporary Foreigners Care Centre (CATE) on Lanzarote, and to the main shelter for minors and mothers in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. And despite La Laguna Town Council’s announcements, on Tenerife, nor has the heralded closure of the old Las Raíces military barracks camp come to fruition.
With spaces available for up to 7,000 people across the island, and the estimated numbers of migrants living in those camps having fallen to less than 1,000 by the beginning of this year, it seems clear that the Government of Spain is now doing what it can to prepare for a further surge.
According to the FAO – the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation – the number of people in need of food assistance in West African countries rose from 7 million to 27 million, over the last decade and a half, and estimates that if aid is not articulated internationally and supplied urgently, that number could grow by another 10 million or more by the end of this summer. The picture is getting ever more complicated.
The priority set by the European Commission, in its logistics support plan, rests on the search for export routes so that the cereals currently blocked in the Black Sea might instead leave by train or by road, and so can be exported. Both Ukraine and Russia – against whom multiple sanctions condition their international trade – are among the main grain exporting countries in the world. Ukraine distributes around 10% of the world’s wheat, 13% of barley, 15% of millet and more than half of all sunflower oil, according to data provided by the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies to Casa África. Millions of tons of food – Brussels calculates 40 million – are being stored, waiting for a fluid exit to be agreed, taking into account that up to five million tons per month would usually have left by sea. African countries imported 44% of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine between 2018 and 2020, according to UN figures, quoted by Spanish language daily La Provincia.
The de facto blockade of food supplies brings with it worrying increases in food prices particularly in the more fragile regions, such as the Sahel. The African Development Bank has reported a 45% increase in wheat prices on the continent on top of a 20-30% increase in the overall price of food in the last five years throughout West Africa.
Add to this, on top of soaring fuel prices, the shortage of goods transport containers, that became apparent around the globe with the start of the covid-19 pandemic. This will hamper any efforts to establish alternative supply sources, which even if they are identified would take many months or, more likely, years to be established. Meanwhile people will still have to eat.
To make matters worse, even before the invasion of Ukraine, on February 24, the World Food Program had been warning that this would be a difficult year: China, the world’s largest wheat producer, is facing one of the worst harvests in its history after floods that last year devastated the central province of Henan; and India, ranking second in the world, has just paralysed exports due to the severe drought that the country is suffering from with crop yields much reduced. This has not been caused by the situation in Ukraine, the WFP have been warning for some time of a starvation catastrophe, but war has now accelerated the worst predictions for the foreseeable future.
Worse still, there is also a problem with our trying to increase local production. Russia and its ally Belarus are two of the world’s largest exporters of fertiliser, which is crucial for intensive farming and production, let alone any increases to local production, and both countries are now limiting sales. At the same time, the rise in energy prices, further exasperated by the war, has led to the closure of large factories in Europe which might otherwise have sought to fill the gap in the global fertiliser supply.

Editor’s Thoughts:
This is a perfect storm, with no clear solutions.  We are going to have to weather it, and help as many as we can.  What is clear is that simply disagreeing with migration is not going to make it go away. 
Paying Morocco to stop hungry people getting into boats, is not going to stop them being hungry, and it is certainly not going to dissuade them risking what little they still have, including their lives, in the search for security. 
In the absence of any clear plan to effectively tackle the root causes of migration, and certainly not any time soon, we are going to need to figure out how we, as a community, will deal with millions of people on the move from West Africa, and tens of thousands, possibly more, arriving on these shores. 
Either we will value our humanity, and try to find positive and constructive ways to react, working with a situation far beyond our control; or we will allow misinformation, ignorance and anger to drive whatever happens next.  Misplaced anger rarely solves hunger but it can certainly put communities at real risk of tearing themselves apart, never mind its destructive potential, increasing harm to all involved and further putting lives and livelihoods at risk.  We need to think calmly and work to build communities that are resilient to change.  You can’t fight the ocean, but you can learn how to fish.
Timon .:.
Canary Islands President Victor Torres demands “shared solidarity” from Europe
The Regional President called for “shared Solidarity” from the rest of Spain’s autonomous communities, and delivered the same message on Friday to the European Committee of the Regions’ Committee on Citizenship, Governance and Institutional and Foreign Affairs (Civex) in a meeting to address the impact of migration and the need to improve the support from European institutions for local and regional authorities.
President Torres, speaking by videoconference, valued the recent advances to unblock reform of the European Pact for Migration and Asylum and presented to the meeting the current migratory situation in the Canary Islands, a territory at the southern border of the EU, located less than 100 kilometres from the neighbouring African continent and “which has become the tragic protagonist of the Atlantic migration route, one of the most dangerous in the world.” The president put unaccompanied migrant minors at the very centre of immigration management. He explained, according to a statement, that the regional government has protected and cared for more than 2,400 unaccompanied minors in this situation, which has led to 50 centres being mobilised, until this year, costing the islands more than €70 million of their own resources.

There will be many right now who will firmly agree that simply waiting for other regions of Spain, or EU member states, to voluntarily share the burden of migrant arrivals is not a strategy for success.  It hasn’t worked up until now, and so will require a more structured policy to ensure that peripheral regions like ours do not continue to be left to handle migrant arrivals on our own.  Solidarity is all very well, but it means nothing unless it is supported with help doing the heavy lifting.

Final thoughts…
Getting angry (or upset) is not going to solve the coming food crisis. However you feel about it, there is going to be a huge surge of people trying to save themselves and their families from starvation, water poverty, and conflict, unless proactive steps are taken right now, and delivered at scale.
Call it what you like, but there are those with very little to lose in risking everything for a better life, and there are those who just don’t know how privileged they are.  


In all likelihood, unlike survival and self preservation, kindness is not going to be top of the agenda for most people, but make no mistake, kindness is exactly what we are all most going to need, so we better start practicing.
We all need to reset our worldview, and learn how to deal with a global situation that is far beyond our control, or anyone else’s for that matter, and could get far worse before it gets any better at all.

Timon .:.
Editor, The Canary News


Newsbrief: 30 kg of hashish found floating by the beach in Arguineguín

Agents of the Mogán Local Police seized a 30-kilo bundle of hashish last week, on the night of June 19, that appeared floating near the Costa Alegre beach, in Arguineguín, Mogán.


After being alerted by residents in the area, after 21:15, two agents from the Mogán Local Police dragged the bundle to shore, helped by two young men.
Once transferred to the local police station, they proceeded to verify the contents, in this case 30 packages of hashish each weighing one kilo apiece. After preparing the corresponding police report, the intercepted drugs were handed over to the Guardia Civil for further investigation.

Suspected thief arrested in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria with fake id and possible counterfeit money

Agents of the Citizen Security Unit (USECI) of the General Corps of the Canarian Police  on the afternoon of Friday, April 15, arrested an individual for an alleged crime of robbery with force at a house in the south western tourist resort town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria. The man had been seen trying force several locks on doors of an apartment complex in the municipality of Mogán.

Agents discovered, among the belongings this individual was carrying, a Spanish DNI identity card that did not belong to him, that he apparently used to impersonate someone else.
They located banknotes of various denominations, which, it is believed, may be counterfeits, which they seized for the purpose of making them available to the Forensic Documentation Experts and Documentary Experts of the General Corps of the Canarian Police for their assessment.



The Canary Guide

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The Canary News, Views & Sunshine - Est. 2009

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