Category: Las Palmas

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

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.

Illegal Trafficking: President of Gran Canaria “Animal Welfare” Association Investigated for Falsifying Export Certificates and Suspected Mistreatment of Animals

A rogue individual, living on Gran Canaria and operating an unlicensed and unregistered facility supposedly dedicated to animal welfare, has been referred by the Guardia Civil to the Canarian justice system for illegal trafficking and documentary falsification of certificates required for the safe transport of animals into the UK. The operation, she has run for nearly a decade, is suspected of collecting around a quarter of a million euros for this activity in just one 18 month period, keeping large numbers of unregistered animals in inadequate conditions, and illegally transporting animals from the island, without proper zoosanitary checks, across Europe by air, sea and land, destined for recipients in the United Kingdom.

 Between January 2021 and October 2022, the investigated Association irregularly exported 482 dogs to the United Kingdom
 The president of the Association falsified export certificates and presented them to the UK authorities.

Leaked documents raise further concerns about welfare in proposed Las Palmas octopus farm that would be first of its kind in the world

The proposal by Spanish multinational Nueva Pescanova to create the world’s first commercial octopus farm on Gran Canaria has generated a great deal of controversy. The company aims to produce one million octopuses a year for consumption worldwide, three times the number currently caught in the wild by Spanish fisheries. However, the project has been condemned by many scientists who regard the proposed method of killing the octopuses as “cruel”. Confidential documents obtained by the BBC reveal that the creatures would be killed using water as cold as -3°C, which many experts believe would result in a slow and stressful death.

Three Men Detained, without bail, for An Alleged Gang Rape, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Hotel

Three men were arrested and charged with sexual assault after having allegedly gang-raped a young woman in a hotel, in the Santa Catalina area of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Thursday, March 16, 2023. The woman, who is 21 years old, reported the incident at the hotel’s reception, claiming that she had been raped by the men and could not remember anything after accepting a drink from them.


The Canary Guide: Foundational festivities of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria 2022

credited artist: Antonio José Martín Santana, digitalised: ULPGC
This year marks the 544th Anniversary of the founding of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain’s first Atlantic City and colony.
From its origins on June 24th 1478, first named El Real de las Tres Palmas (The Royal Town of the Three Palms), the city celebrates the anniversary of its foundation every summer with an intense program of cultural activities and open-air shows in and around Vegueta, the old quarter, with festivities completed every Midsummer’s Night (on the feast day of St. John The Baptist) the eve of the city’s Birthday; with an impressive display of fireworks on Las Canteras Beach. Locals and visitors gather by the thousands along the promenades to enjoy the show and the cheerful ambiance, a unique attraction for visitors who stay in the city during this time of year.
Friday, 24 June is a local Bank holiday in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Fiestas Fundacionales LPGC It is also a bank holiday in Telde ( festivities in honour of San Juan Bautista), Arucas, La Aldea and in Teror (Festividad del Sagrado Corazón – Feast of The Sacred Heart)

Highlights for the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Foundation Festivities between June 3 & 26:
All events below offer free entrance until full – other paid events are listed in the programme
Friday 3 Juneat 20:30 Pregón, the traditional Proclamation, this year by José Brito at Plaza de Santa Ana.  The opening gala show ‘Zarzuela Glam 3.0’ at 21:00 with Las Palmas Symphony Orchestra and the choir of the 21:00 «Vereda tropical» in Parque Juan Pablo II. Olga Cerpa and the Municipal Symphonic Band of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Saturday 4 JuneMusic in the heart of Vegueta, starting at 19:30 in the various courtyards of the historic centre and in plazas and squares, including San Agustín, Pilar Nuevo and The Royal Economic Society of Country 23:00 the final concert at Plaza de Santa Ana.
Friday 10 Juneat 21:00 ‘Naifest’, the 3rd Meeting of Popular music at Plaza de Santa Ana.Laura Martel (timple), with Misael Jordán (guitar) and Luz Mila Valerón (voice), Jurria Guanil (salto del pastor canario), Parranda El Pajullo and 21:00 ‘Vereda tropical’  Olga Cerpa y la Banda Sinfónica Municipal de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria at Plaza del Pilar
Saturday 11Juneat 21:00 Musicando. Non Trubada: «Azul» in Auditorio José Antonio Ramos in Parque 21:00 ‘Naifest’, the 3rd Meeting of Popular music at Plaza de Santa AnaAlthay Páez (timple), con David Pablos (guitar) and José Ángel Suárez Rodríguez (voice), Bejeque y La parranda de Teror.
Friday 17 Juneat 21:00 14th Night of Boleros at Plaza de Santo Domingo.Trío Los Caballeros, En-cantadoras, Caco Senante and Vicente Borland y Los que no 21:00 City Dock Band + Suárez DC at Auditorio José Antonio Ramos in Parque Doramas.
Saturday 18 Juneat 21:00 Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar + Miguel Cedrés at Auditorio José Antonio Ramos in Parque 21:00 14th Night of Boleros at Plaza de Santo Domingo.Mayelín, Jueves del bolero, Masha Gerasimova y Los que no 22:00 Olga Cerpa y Mestisay. Concert for the city: El sueño de Cabo Verde. Invited: Nancy Viera and Bau & Stephan Almeida at Plaza de la Música
Tuesday 21 June ‘ Day of Music’at 18:00  Students of the Superior Conservatory of Music of the Canary Islands on Calle Mayor de 18:00 Students of the Municipal School of Musical Education of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Av. José Mesa y Ló 21:00 “The Night of Fire” «La noche del fuego» at Plaza de la Música. Municipal Symphonic Band of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Invited artista: Joana Jiménez.
Wednesday 22 Juneat 20:30 Red Beard & Rainbow Gospel Choir at Plaza de la Mú 22:00 “Sails and winds”,«Velas y vientos». Street theathre in Annex of Plaza de la Música.

Thursday, 23 June “The Night of San Juan”at 21:00 Ruts and La Isla Music at Plaza Saulo Torón on Paseo de Las Canteras. at 22:15 BUSTAMANTE. ‘Veinte años y un destino’ at Plaza Saulo Torón on Paseo de Las Canteras. at 00:00 Fireworks at 00:15 Totó Noriega, San Juan Latino at Plaza Saulo Torón. Paseo de Las Canteras.
also at 22:00 Orquesta Mondragón. «Viaje con nosotros Vuelo 2022 Tour» at Plaza de la Música.

Friday 24 June at 21:00 Ilegales: La lucha por la vida + Sergio Franquis y Los doctores at Plaza de la Música.
Saturday 25 Juneat 21:00 #Musicando. Las Karamba at Auditorio José Antonio Ramos in Parque Doramas.
Sunday 26 Juneat 12:00 Music in the park Puerto Candelaria at Auditorio José Antonio Ramos in Parque Doramas.

You can download the entire programme here



The Canary Guide

UK nationals Pop-Up Residency events this week with Age In Spain, on Gran Canaria North and South

Age in Spain‘s Regional Co-ordinator for the Canary Islands, Deepika Harjani, will be holding some pop-up events on 5 and 6 May to help British people on Gran Canaria who may have residency questions or concerns.

Given the amount of confusing, conflicting and even just plainly inaccurate information that is circulating about residency (quite a lot of it from the UK press) this will be a chance for anyone who needs it to get free information and guidance from an expert.
The events will held on the north and the south of the island:
The British Club, Las Palmas
Weds 5 May El Club Inglés 11 am – 1pm
Calle León y Castillo, 274, 35005 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas.
NB.  Advance booking required – People wanting to attend should email  and put “Event Club Ingles” in the subject line
​We Are Warriors shop, Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
Thurs 6 May   Warriors Charity Shop, 10am – 2pm
Calle Río Piedra, 2, 35130 Mogán, Las Palmas  (next to Atlantic Clinic and Pharmacy).
NB.  Advance booking required – People wanting to attend should email  and put “Event Puerto Rico” in the subject line
Find out more here


Operation ‘Avio’ Spanish Tax Agency “Aduanas” intercept fishing boat carrying 18,000 kilos of hashish south of the Canary Islands

March 29, 2021 .- More details have emerged from Operation ‘Avio’, the second major drugs haul to have been carried out in recent days in waters near to Gran Canaria and The Canary Islands archipelago.

Three crew members were detained on a fishing vessel, flying the Panamanian flag, following a four month long investigation by Customs Surveillance agents who suspected the vessel was being used to transport drugs
The interception was carried out by a patrol boat, the ‘Sacre’, based in Las Palmas, following previous analysis work carried out by the Customs Surveillance Office for Maritime Intelligence in Galicia
Operation ‘Avio’ forms part of the larger maritime intelligence operation ‘Nautilus’ promoted last year by the Customs Surveillance Service

​The Spanish Tax Agency performed a daring intervention in the waters of the Atlantic, south of the Canary Islands, boarding a fishing vessel flying the Panamanian flag and carrying about 18,000 kilos of hashish, detaining its three crew members, all of Ukrainian nationality. The boarding from the patrol boat, the ‘Sacre’, by agents of the Customs Surveillance Service, based in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, completed the exploitation phase of the operation, named ‘Avio’, on Saturday morning. This was the culmination of preliminary follow-up and analysis work carried out over the last four months by the Office of Maritime Intelligence (OIM), part of Customs Surveillance, in Galicia.
Operational action began last Friday and ended in the early hours of the morning of the 27th with the interception of a fishing vessel, named ‘Albatros Guard VSL’, some 170 nautical miles southwest of the island of Gran Canaria, as it was sailing through International waters. A significant number of hashish bales were seized on board the vessel, which, pending official count and weight, could exceed 18 metric tons.
The seized fishing trawler, under armed guard, arrived yesterday afternoon at the Las Palmas Naval Base to bring the detainees and the drugs to justice. The operation was carried out under coordination of the Special Anti-Drug Prosecutor’s Office of Spain’s National Court and the Central Investigating Court No. 6.
The investigation, developed by the regional Customs Surveillance teams in Galicia and the Canary Islands, with the collaboration of the Centre for Maritime Analysis and Operations (MAOC-N), the Intelligence Centre against Terrorism and Organised Crime (CITCO) and the the French National Intelligence and Customs Investigations Directorate (DNRED). The operation and investigations currently remain open.

Operation ‘Avio’ 315 km south of Gran CanariaAgents of Operation Avio not only carried out a daring operation on the high seas, they also, on their way to their target, rescued a boat full of migrants.
Posted by TheCanary.TV on Monday, March 29, 2021

An Unexpected Rescue
Customs Surveillance agents who carried out the boarding of the vessel moving 18 tons of hashish, unloaded this Monday on Gran Canaria, became unexpected rescuers when they happened upon 17 migrant women, 4 children and 16 men, accidentally finding their boat while on their way to their mission.
The crew the “Sacre”, whose objective was 315 kilometres south of the archipelago, just by chance discovered with “a boat full of people calling for help” about 273 kilometres from the islands on Friday, and alerted Salvamento Marítimo, according to Carmen Guillén, special delegate of the Tax Agency in the Canary Islands.
Maritime Rescue, “quickly sent an aircraft and a boat to rescue them and we stayed, as instructed, by the side of the boat until they came to save them,” he said.
The mission gained greater significance “apart from capturing a ship with ‘bad guys’ and a lot of drugs, we helped save those people who were in the boat and who we think had also been lost and aimless for several days”, and among which there were “a lot of women and children,” Guillén concluded.
The head of the Tax Agency in the Canary Islands reports that the migrant boat, assisted by the Customs Surveillance agents, was finally rescued by the vessel Guardamar Concepción Arenal, which disembarked the 37 individuals who were aboard, 16 men, 17 women and 4 children, at the Arguineguín dock on Saturday afternoon.
Suspicions about the ‘Albatross’
The investigation began when aerial means from Customs Surveillance in Galicia detected the transit of the vessel through Galician coastal waters, heading south, the 23-metre-long fishing vessel had set sail from the port of Den Oever in the Netherlands on December 7, 2020.
Investigations subsequently carried out by analysts from the Office of Regional Customs Surveillance Maritime Intelligence in Galicia made it possible to identify the ship as suspicious due to various characteristics such as its age, its recent sale and purchase and one particular red flag due to the absence of fishing gear that indicated fishing might not be their main activity. All of this led to the vessel being considered of special risk and it was put under controlled surveillance by the IOM in Galicia and the Canary Islands, as well as by the Central Customs Surveillance Services in Madrid.
The maritime intelligence monitored the target over the following months, which culminated in the planning of the operation, from Las Palmas, for its boarding and interception, which was completed on Saturday.
The antecedent of the ‘Giant’ operation and the ‘Nautilus’ device
Nautilus is a newly developed deep analysis anti-drugs operation in the Canary Islands, following the apprehension of a ‘Cyklo 1’ tugboat at the end of last year, as part of operation ‘Gigante’, where a large quantity of hashish was seized, also totalling around 18,000 kilos.
Both operations form part of the ‘Nautilus’ deployment, a national project planned by the Spanish Tax Agency’s Deputy Directorate of Customs Surveillance as part of the primary Action Plans for the years 2020-2021 with the objective to uncover maritime intelligence aimed at detecting possibly suspicious vessels, and initiating corresponding investigations for the repression of illicit drug trafficking by sea and the dismantling of criminal organisations responsible.
Customs Surveillance Service Maritime Intelligence Offices play a decisive role, having been created in 2018 and put inti operation the following year, with key parts in both the ‘Gigante’ and ‘Avio’ operations, and a previous operation ‘Schooner’ which last September led to the simultaneous boarding of four sailboats belonging to the same organisation using Air Naval Customs Surveillance deployments to sieze 35 tons of hashish.
The Annual Tax and Customs Control Plan for the year 2021 relies on the IOM in the strategy for the Customs and Excise Department of the Tax Agency in the fight against drug trafficking on the high seas.


The Canary News

Shipping companies start sending ships to the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Port of La Luz to circumvent the blocked Suez Canal

Shipping companies have started sending ships via the main Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Port of La Luz to avoid the blockade in the Suez Canal. The president of the Port Authority of Las Palmas, Luis Ibarra, confirmed on Saturday that the capital will be one of the beneficiaries in the commercial crisis caused by the Ever Given accident, caused when the large container ship ran aground last Thursday in the famous Egyptian canal. Freight companies have signalled that they now intend to avoid the growing maritime traffic jam that has formed in the Red Sea by instead skirting the African coasts, making the Canary Islands a stopover on their merchant trips headed for the ports of central Europe, mainly Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg.

“It is too early to know the real scope of this crisis because everything depends on the time it takes to resolve the accident,” said Ibarra, “but everything that passes through the Cape of Good Hope [South Africa] will be beneficial to us.” For the moment, he stressed that companies have already confirmed that several ships from Asia will pass through the Islands, with a final destination in Europe, with freighters with capacity for 12,000 containers.
The capital of Gran Canaria will be a stopover in the transit of goods between continents, which would usually take the shorter route via Suez, although we will not be able to handle mega freighters such as the stricken one currently blocking the canal, as Las Palmas does not currently have cranes capable of operating with vessels carrying up to 24,000 teus (containers). The ships will unload containers that were destined for Mediterranean ports on the Island, which will then be sent on to their final destination. This stop will allow companies to avoid having make even larger detours towards the Strait of Gibraltar. The Puerto La Luz is better positioned than most others, in Algeria, Morroco or Portugal, according to Ibarra. “The location of Las Palmas is perfect in this regard,” he stressed.
The commercial crisis unleashed by Ever Given will offer benefit to the island, not only in the movement of containers through the different terminals of La Luz, but also in the supply of fuel. Sources from the oil company Oryx pointed out that the situation in the Suez Canal “may be positive” for their facilities on Gran Canaria, but everything will depend on the time that the sea passage remains blocked and the subsequent unblocking of the vessels currently built up in the Red Sea. The La Esfinge pier at the port has sufficient draft to moor oil tankers of almost 300 meters in length.
Sources consulted by Spanish language daily La Provincia agree that it is still too early to know the extent of the current commercial crisis or effect it will have on maritime traffic in La Luz. No date has yet been suggested for the unblocking of the canal; and once the accident is resolved, the Suez passage must be decongested. Shipping companies have indicated that there are more than 200 container ships stuck in the area until further notice. On Monday new movements are expected from shipping companies after the weekend break.
Ibarra points out that the Port will see repercussions from the blockade in Suez by the middle of the week, since ships take an average of between seven and eight days to go around the African continent from Southeast Asia. “Everything will depend on how many companies choose to divert their ships, the products they transport, the urgency of the recipient,” said the president of the Las Palmas Port Authority.
Comparison of the size of the ‘EverGiven’, as long as the main shopping street in Las Palmas
The African route is, of course, more complicated than the Suez Canal alternative as it is longer and presents problems including the potential for piracy, especially for those ships that need to stop for refuelling. The distance between Singapore, the main shipping zone from Southeast Asia, to the Netherlands, by going round South Africa, is about 23,300 kilometres compared to the 16,400 usually travelled via Egypt. It is approximately 20,000 km from either Singapore or from Suez to The Canary Islands Archipelago .
Ibarra also pointed out that whatever happens next, the canary islands are unlikely to suffer any supply problems due to the accident, since ships that use the Suez Canal route are not normally carrying cargo destined for the Islands. In mainland Spain, however, the logistical consequences will be greater particularly for destinations in the Mediterranean. “A blockade like this interrupts the rotation of containers,” he explained, while highlighting that the situation will not last long, predictably, not more than a month.


The Canary News

Extra restrictions on Gran Canaria over easter, including travel, gatherings, entertainment and the beach

This Friday morning began the first day of additional restrictions over easter being in force, until April 9, aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus as much as possible, at a time when general mobility traditionally increases Gran Canaria over easter, as well as the rest of the canary islands. The measures already established for each island have been tightened, depending on the current alert level in play, and so this may well have generated some confusion as the various measures in place have evolved to try to keep infection rates contained.  In fact, this week, concerns have been expressed over the beginning of a fourth wave here on the islands, though of course, generally speaking, our numbers have remained significantly lower than elsewhere in Europe there is still a long road to travel before we can all let our guard down.  Here are a few key elements to keep in mind:

Curfews are in place at nightCurfew times depend on the alert level for each island, all citizens are asked to remain at home, or in their accommodation, with only essential travel permitted, such as to purchase essential items, trips to pharmacies to buy medicine, travel to or from work, going to or accompanying someone else to seek medical attention and those sorts of things. Those islands currently on the lowest Alert Level 1, which includes El Hierro, La Palma and La Gomera,  have curfews in place between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Islands at level 2 (Lanzarote and La Graciosa) and level 3 (Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura) have mobility limitations between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
Exempt activities are included in section 1.5.2 of the Government Agreement signed on June 19, 2020 and its successive updates.
Travel to the Canary Islands from elsewhere in SpainTravelling from elsewhere in Spain for an easter holiday this week has been restricted, primarily as most Spanish regions have closed their borders, however those with justified reasons, as established in Royal Decree 926/2020, of October 25, including those who “return to their place of habitual or family residence ” are able to travel from else where in Spain, so that students and other Canarian residents can return home for a few days.
Travelling between Canary IslandsInter-island travel is allowed, but with conditions. It is possible to travel between islands, regardless of the alarm level in place, without just cause as long as you can present a negative diagnostic test for active infection (PDIA), which will not be paid for by the the public health system. With adequate justification, as per the accepted essential exemptions, a test result will not be necessary.
Having people over to your houseGatherings at home are not permitted. Only people who are cohabiting, regardless of the current alert levels, may meet in private spaces.
Gatherings outsideOn all islands, groups of people in public, who do not live together, whether in a closed or outdoor space, are limited to just four people, and this cannot be exceeded. A group made up of cohabitants and non-cohabitants, must not exceed the maximum number of people established in each of the indicated alert levels.
The beach is still open though, right?In principle, yes. However, some cities, like Santa Cruz de Tenerife, have decided to extend restrictions on their beaches too. In general for sun bathing and swimming in the sea masks do not need to be warn, but as with all other public spaces, if you are moving around, rather than stationary, then you should be wearing your mask.
In the capital of Gran Canaria a traffic lights system has been implemented, such as on Las Canteras beach, which have been activated due to the expected influx of people, to let you know when you should avoid the beach. The rest of the city’s beaches will be reactivated for Easter and, in addition, the Red Cross service will be reinforced in coastal areas.
Live performance and Music ShowsThis is a bit of a grey area.  To ensure compliance most venues on Gran Canaria over easter have decided to avoid live music and performances altogether, as well as karaoke, dancing and anything else that encourages people to sing along, or move around.  The BOC (official gazette) actually only states that live performances or music shows “which encourage people to sing or move about are prohibited”, and so there is an interpretation that says any show that does not encourage people to enjoy themselves in this way would be theoretically allowed.  As it is a very fine line of interpretation and large fines are threatened for any venue thought to have broken the rules, most places are simply avoiding unnecessary sanctions and trouble with the authorities by postponing all live shows until after easter.
Religious worshipLike everything else, there are conditions in place. During any form of worship, physical contact between attendees must be avoided and the place of worship must remain with doors and windows open before and after the celebration, for the time necessary to guarantee its ventilation. During the celebration the doors will be kept open.
Attendance at closed places of worship can not exceed the following capacities depending on the level of alert established: at level 1, 75%; in 2, 50%; and at level 3, 33% capacity cannot be exceeded. In the latter two, it is recommended to offer services electronically or via television.
Basically, this pandemic is simply not over yet.  Whether you are on Gran Canaria over easter, or taking the opportunity to visit some of the other amazing Canary Islands, everyone is being urged to stay safe, keep each other safe and help us all to get through this year, which, with luck, will give the world time to roll out sufficient vaccines so that we can all return to something like how life was before, but for now, stay safe, don’t touch, wash your hands and be kind.


The Canary News

Bentago Express ferry repairs on schedule for resumption of service before the summer say Fred. Olsen

The repair work to the stricken Bentago Express ferry that ran aground at the beginning of the year at Gran Canaria’s north west port of Agaete, is continuing at the Astilleros Canarios (Astican) facilities in the Puerto La Luz, Port of Las Palmas. Fred Olsen confirmed this Thursday that the ferry repairs are progressing as planned and that the ship will be able to sail through the Archipelago once again before the summer. The company’s own freight forwarding operation, Shipping Solutions, has been highlighted by Fred Olsen as playing a crucial role in ensuring that materials arrive on time, thanking them for their involvement on social networks.

Fred Olsen Express managers made a visit this week to the Port of Las Palmas to monitor the progress of the repairs. Among them was one Fredrik Olsen, president of the Norwegian group that has been connecting the islands since 1974 and has been linked to the archipelago since 1904. Andrés Marín, CEO of Fred Olsen Express, joined the tour of the ferry repairs to the hull to see first-hand the work being carried out. Astican, as a gesture of deference, raised the Norwegian flag to commemorate the roots of the shipping company.
The return of the Bentago won’t be Fred’s only news. Olsen Express in the coming months. The new Bañaderos Express trimaran is also scheduled to start operations in the summer . The Austal shipyard continues to advance in its construction and its launching in Philippine waters is scheduled for the next dates. Fred’s CEO. Olsen Express assured weeks ago that the shipbuilder is meeting the established deadlines, so it trusts that the trimaran, twin of the Bajamar Express , can start traveling on the route between the ports of Agaete (Gran Canaria) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the coming months.

? La reparación del #BentagoExpress avanza a buen ritmo y antes de verano estará navegando por #Canarias. ?? Esta semana…
Posted by Fred.Olsen Express on Thursday, March 11, 2021

?The repair of the #BentagoExpress is progressing well and before summer you will be cruising #Canarias .?? This week our managers visited ASTICAN and from the shipyard, as a gesture of deference, they raised the Norwegian flag to commemorate our roots. #Gracias!
Our special thanks to the specialised repair teams that we have on the islands, as well as the continuity in the supply chain, guaranteed by the freight forwarding service Fred. Olsen Shipping Solutions provides.  #Less is left


Deportation flight to Senegal from Canary Islands cancelled for the second time

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has for the second time canceled a deportation flight to Senegal, meant to return migrants who arrived by boat to the Canary Islands over recent months. The flight was due to be on Wednesday night, the first such flight since 2018,  confirm sources involved in their supervision.

The flight, which originated in Madrid, was scheduled to arrive at Tenerife North at 8:35 p.m., to embark a group of Senegalese citizens, who are currently being held at the Hoya Fría CIE (Foreigners Interment Centre), and continue the journey with them to Dakar.
Initially, this particular group of people were to be returned on February 24, but the centre where they are being held suffered an outbreak of COVID-19, with the last case confirmed just one week before the departure of the deportation flight to Senegal. However, sources have not specified the reasons why, once again, this deportation flight has been cancelled.
Spain has not returned migrants who arrived in the Canary Islands by boat to Senegal since 2018, when at least 150 citizens of that country were transferred to Dakar in four planes that departed from Gran Canaria (one, carrying 40 people) and Tenerife (three, with a total of 110), according to the Ombudsman’s report that year.
Last year the Canary Islands received 23,023 migrants in open boats, of which more than 11,998 were Moroccans and 4,539 Senegalese, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior cited by the latest Ombudsman in the report a week ago on the situation on the islands.

Senegal, the westernmost country in Africa, has a population of about 15.4 million people. between a third and half the Senegalese population are living below the poverty line, on less than $2 a day. 75 percent of families suffer from chronic poverty. In rural areas, 66 percent of residents are considered poor, compared to 25 percent of residents in Dakar. 60% of the population are under 25. A large majority are engaged in subsistence farming with 70% of crops being rain fed, meaning that even slight droughts can have extraordinarily negative effects.

The lack of employment and business opportunities in agriculture is a driver of migration, which leads to urbanization and emigration. Those left behind, especially women, children and the elderly, are particularly exposed to food insecurity and other risks.
Gender disparities remain widespread in the country, especially in rural areas where traditional and religious practices like early and forced marriage cause girls to drop out of school, reduce their productivity and perpetuate the cycle of inequality.— World Food Programme

Demonstrations, riots, police brutality and political insecurity have increased in recent weeks, with several protesters having been shot by security forces in the last week alone.
If you would like to know more about what is driving recent senegalese migration, try taking a look at this article from Ricci Shryock over at The New Humanitarian


Bone age determination tests on hundreds of young migrants have shown that adults were being accommodated in juvenile facilities

Bone age determination tests are being carried out on hundreds of young migrants, and some results, as suspected, have shown that there were adults erroneously being accommodated in juvenile facilities. Upon arrival to the Canary Islands, unaccompanied minors, young people under 18 years of age, are protected under law by the Autonomous Community. The Regional Government has previously estimated that up to 600 of the migrants claiming to be children are in fact older and have chosen to enter the Canarian Executive’s child protection network erroneously, in an effort to evade deportation or other consequences.

This is a problem taken very seriously by the Ministry for Social Rights, who have been all but overwhelmed by the massive increased arrival of minors to the archipelago, having had to organise temporary accommodation for several hundred of them in hotels on the south of Gran Canaria. What’s more, the Canary Islands’ entire Community budget this year, for this work, has already been used up in just the first two months of the year.
The Ministry previously indicated that they currently care for 2,036 presumed minors, without documentation to assist with determination of age, although it is, in their opinion, only necessary to X-ray about 1,000 for whom there are reasonable doubts; as the rest are obvious minors. There are about 300 individuals, thought to be adults, who are according to the Ministry, clearly older and then up to another 300 approximately for whom it cannot be certain, as they are thought to be in the age group of between 17 and 20.  All will be subject to bone age determination tests to assess and record their age, at an accuracy rate of up to 95%.
The Ministry has now demonstrated that there are in fact adults who have to leave the centres accommodating minors. If they are adults, they become the responsibility of the Spanish State. In this context, the Immigration Prosecutor’s Office have determined 54 adults (26 on Tenerife and 28 on Gran Canaria) who were in juvenile centres but are not children, the Ministry of Social Rights reports.
On February 10, at the request of the Ministry, a meeting took place between the Government Delegation, National Police, Guardia Civil, The Immigration Prosecutor’s Office, the various collaborating organisations that have been delegated to take care of minors and the Ministry of Health, as well as the Institute of Legal Medicine to coordinate the bone age determination tests process and speed it up, especially on Gran Canaria due to the number of minors who have reached the island, because there has been no protocol to determine age from when they arrive and so if they declared that they are minors they were simply sent to the centres. The Covid-19 pandemic response and restrictions have also delayed these tests. Since the meeting, the processing of bone samples has been streamlined in a “remarkable way”, explained the Social Rights Ministry.
Nine autonomies will welcome just 177 of last year’s migrant children, of the 2,658 that are currently in the Canary Islands Child Protection system
The President of the Regional Government, Ángel Víctor Torres, made a loud call for help last Monday, in Brussels, making clear that the Canary Islands need solidarity and resources to care for these minors. The Canarian Executive has also asked the Spanish State and other autonomous communities to be jointly responsible for the care of these minors. Nine Spanish Regional Governments have responded but offering only 177 places to assist some of the 2,658 minors currently under Canary Islands guardianship. Referrals begin on March 10. Catalonia has been the most supportive, with the offer of 43 places; Castilla León and Extremadura have offered 25 each; Cantabria and Galicia 20; Valencia 18; Asturias 16; Navarra 10 and Aragón about 15. Meetings have continued with Castilla La Mancha and the Basque Country. Ceuta, Melilla, Murcia, Andalusia, Madrid, La Rioja and the Balearic Islands have not shown predisposition to assist in the matter.


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The Canary News, Views & Sunshine - Est. 2009

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