Tag: Arguineguín

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors

The 7th Investigative Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has opened a preliminary investigation into the Social Response Foundation Siglo XXI and four of its directors. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Las Palmas filed a complaint against them, alleging crimes that could include forgery of commercial documents, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds. The investigation aims to determine whether this nonprofit organisation, and its officials, could have misused public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied migrant minors, during the migration crisis of 2020 that was precipitated by the pandemic confinement on the islands, leading to a build up of arrivals having to be assessed and cared for by the Canary Islands Regional Government, using hotels left empty due to the lack of tourism. The estimated amount involved in the alleged misuse stands at around €12.5 million between 2020 and 2022 on Gran Canaria alone.


Canary Islands Expect Rain and Potential Storm Weather Next Week

The Canary Islands are preparing for a change in the weather next week, as a significant increase in cloud is expected bringing higher probability of rain. The effects of a powerful storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean are likely to extend to the Canary Islands as well as neighbouring Madeira and The Azores.


The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 2-4 June 2023

June is here and that means that summer is just around the corner. The Patron Saints’ festivities in honour of San Juan de Bautista and San Antonio de Padua are just getting started on Gran Canaria, and in Pueblo de Mogán the main Romería pilgrimage for San Antonio El Chico is this first Saturday of June, as well as the start of the build up to those in Arucas, Santa Brígida and Moya. This weekend also brings the biggest outlet fair shopping experience back to INFECAR and a collectables fair in Gáldar.
OPERATION KILO is this weekend, at all participating supermarkets, asking you to add a few non-perishable food items to the Food Bank collection boxes to help families in need.

Vox Enters Canarian Politics, Stage Right: Anti-Migrant, Anti-Feminist, Anti-Green, Anti-Autonomy, Anti-LGBT, Anti-Multiculturalism, Pro-Franco politics find a foothold on The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands were unable to avoid the rise of the far right on Sunday, unlike in 2019, writes Natalia G. Vargas in Canarias Ahora. Vox, which previously had no representation on the islands, managed to make its presence felt in several municipalities and councils this May 28. They also secured seats in the Canary Islands’ regional parliament, securing four deputies. “Defending what is ours, our own, and fighting against insecurity” were the slogans that underpinned Vox’s campaign in The Canary Islands, along with “family, employment, and freedom.” This rhetoric, coupled with an electoral program that was repeated across all local elections in Spain, proved sufficient. Dozens of cities and towns on the islands welcomed their first far right candidates of the modern democratic era into Canarian politics, with urban areas serving as their main strongholds.

La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán

Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.


We’re all made of stardust, but only some of us know how to shine. How Andy Reed shone

Calm waters, and a toast to Arguineguín’s happiest, most exuberant guy: The life and soul of Andy Reed.
At the beginning of April 2021 the small, close-knit, coastal community of Arguineguín, on the south of Gran Canaria, lost a gentle soul. Known to many as a “people person”, Andy Reed always thought himself a bit of a comedian. Everyone thought he was funny, he thought he was funnier. He was a funny guy.


A paradox, Andy was born, a child of war, on September 7 1972, but by age 2 he had already found his way into the loving arms of his Norwegian mother and father. Egil, a technician for one of Norway’s biggest oil and gas companies, involved in exploration and production in the Bergen oil fields, and his beautiful wife Berit, who were blessed with an abundance of love. Andy’s arrival brought unbridled sunshine into their home and into their lives.
Deeply adored by Egil and Berit, who wisely invested every drop of their devotion in him, Andy learned all of life’s most important traits; patience, kindness, commitment to truth, loyalty, hard work, compassion, positivity, care for animals and for those less fortunate, Love, and a love for ice cream. A happy family, with all life’s usual challenges to face, they later moved to Fredrikstad.
Though he must have always felt a little different at school, there was never any doubt that he was loved on the most profound level. He also, always, stood out in ways that would set him apart in his future. The warmth and care with which he was raised helped to infuse his early life with a deep sense of connection, purpose and belonging to the universe, on a broader scale than most. He became a staunch and loyal defender of the underdog, and a deeply caring man.  A credit to both his parents.
It should be in no doubt that, pretty much all of Egil’s and Berit’s most precious and most treasured memories, of deep happiness and satisfaction, their sense pride and life’s true profit, are thanks to their investment in Andy. He felt it too, writing these words for Egil, on Father’s Day 2016, “You are the best, kindest and most patient dad in the world I admire you, and am very proud to have you as my dad ️ Looking forward to many nice and cool memories together ”
His friends all say he wanted nothing more than for each person he met to be happy. He chased smiles and love and unicorns and rainbows, and believed it was the perfect, immovable right of each and every person to find their own sense of self, to find contentment, and not let this world drag them down.  Perhaps it was a product of his own winding journey, to understand who he truly was, that led him to so fervently encourage all those around him to soar, upwards, never to let the weight of the world hold them back, to never fear, and to always trust in angels.
Andy never believed in half measures. If you were his friend, and for Andy every person was a new, long lost friend, he would give you his all, believing that this life must always be approached, by burning bright, every day, acting with the heart of a lion, talking straight, like a silver arrow, and that no subject was taboo. He would be the first to remind you to remember to breathe, and focus on good vibes above all. His positivity was simply contagious.
Andy Reed worshiped the sun, and so chased the sunshine all the way from Norway to the little sunny town of Arguineguín, known round here as Little Norway, to a town named by the prehispanic Canarios of this island, in their native tongue, meaning “calm water”.
Throughout his life Andy burned bright but also sought tranquility and peace, and it was in Arguineguín that he found it, with crystal clear views, from the little apartment he called home, he looks out still, across the calm blue waters of the Arguineguín bay, towards the rising sun, in whom he placed his greatest trust and adoration.  Perhaps it was their team kit, or the fact that they hail from The Golden State, that made him so fervent an LA Lakers fan, but he never missed a game, and he proudly wore their colours of golden sunshine.
And I suppose it is in those colours that most will so fondly remember him, and continue to be inspired by him, to make the most of days on the beach, and eat all the ice cream, and raise their glass full and high, to relive those nights that should have never ended, soaking up the golden rays that Andy Reed so brightly and freely emitted back out toward whomsoever in his life needed warming, or cheering or reminding that, in truth, the sun never really sets; we just occasionally spin away from her brilliance, as we bravely cling to this little, moss-covered rock, we call home, hurtling through the infinite cosmos, before spinning back round to face her divine glory once again.
Forever here, blowing a golden kiss through two fingers, his luminance now joins the power of our favourite star, over Gran Canaria, he warms Arguineguín’s calm waters, running just that little deeper now, thanks to Andy Reed.


The Canary News

Tragic death of well known local Norwegian resident, in Arguineguín, suspected to be by misadventure, autopsy ordered as part of investigation

The tragic death of a Norwegian national, well known in the local foreign-resident community on the south of the island, occurred Thursday afternoon following a fall from the roof of his apartment block in Arguineguín, having allegedly been locked out during the night with his keys inside. Paramedics at the scene could do nothing to revive him due to the severity of the injuries.  Death by misadventure is most likely say witnesses and investigators.


The main 112 Emergency and Security Coordinating Centre (CECOES) received an alert, shortly after 12 noon on Thursday, reporting that a man had fallen several meters from the top of a building located on Calle Juan Juana, next to the main Plaza Negra Market Square, in the municipality of Mogán.
The SUC ambulance crew who attended the scene, could only certify his tragic death, at approximately 12:30 according to sources close to the events, due to the severity of his injuries presented.
According to witnesses, the victim had allegedly climbed up onto the roof, located on the third floor of the building, in an attempt to enter his apartment on the second floor, having mistakenly locked himself out during the early hours of the morning. Sources say the man had tied a television antenna cable around his waste, which broke after he lost his balance, falling about eight meters to the pavement below.
A large deployment at the scene included a basic life support ambulance and another medicalised ambulance from the Canary Islands Emergency Service (SUC), Mogán Policia Local and Proteccion Civil, and the Guardia Civil were all in attendance. The healthcare professionals at the scene could do little more than to certify his death, after assessing his condition.
Guardia Civil Judicial Police, from the Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria main post, instructed the corresponding investigative procedures to determine the causes of death, although everything points to accidental death by misadventure, according to sources close to the investigation.

Friends were concerned
Close friends of the deceased, who contacted The Canary News directly, expressed concern having spent the evening beforehand with the man, who had appeared to be in an agitated state when leaving to go home ahead of 10pm curfew. According to one witness, who has also made a statement to the Guardia Civil, the victim had suffered a beating two weeks earlier, from another individual with whom he had previously been friends. This acquaintance had subsequently threatened him, said the victim, causing him to recently change the locks on his apartment for fear of further physical altercations.
The witness says he spent nearly two hours on the phone to the victim, during the early hours of Thursday morning, unable to go to him directly, due to curfew, but trying to console him, and advised him to call the police if he were at all concerned or felt threatened. Though these events could well have been a factor in the victim getting locked out of his apartment, investigators say they have no current reasons to suspect that yesterdays events, and tragic death, were anything more than the result of a heartbreaking and deadly error of judgement on the part of the victim himself. An awful accident.
Guardia Civil agents guarded the man’s body until it could be certified by the coroner before being removed and later transferred to the Institute of Legal Medicine in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where an autopsy will now be performed.


The Canary News

An ugly angry mob gathers on the streets of Arguineguín based on hearsay spread across social networks

This article is based on the subject of an ongoing police investigation, and does not try to draw conclusions about the reasons behind the initial incident which led to an angry mob in the streets of Arguineguín.  Our analysis has been based on careful study of the available evidence, and in particular video footage that appears to show the original events to have been somewhat different from the claims made that have led to anger, on the basis of unfounded accusations without clear proof; it is hearsay until it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt, and we need calm level headed conclusions, not mob rule.  As a publication we cherish the right to protest and have full faith in the judicial process and the work of the Guardia Civil to establish the facts.  If you find any inaccuracies in our work, please inform us directly and we will try to verify what errors have been made.  We leave You, our readers, to draw your own conclusions.
Edward Timon – Editor in Chief
An angry mob of about 80 people gathered in the usually tranquil streets of Arguineguín on Saturday morning to shout about an incident alleged to have occurred last Wednesday, demanding justice for a local boy, who says he was beaten by a group of foreigners, and ending with an attempt to barge their way into the new Arguineguín Park apartment complex where a number of migrants have been temporarily accommodated.  Thankfully there were no injuries or violence reported.  What is more, crucial new evidence has emerged that casts serious doubt on the story as it was initially told on social networks and in some local press outlets.


Angry mob gathers in Arguineguín
According to initial available information, a group of vengeful locals decided to take matters into their own hands, on Saturday morning in the sleepy fishing-cum-tourist town of Arguineguín, forming an angry mob, apparently in response to a brawl that resulted in a local man seeking treatment in hospital for injuries, he claims, were inflicted by a large group of young migrants.  Fortunately the angry mob on Saturday morning were not able to gain access to the apartment complex, where several migrants have been temporarily accommodated, due to security guards closing the gates and the intervention of local police and Guardia Civil who dispersed the crowd quite quickly once they could go no further.
Angry mob forms in Arguineguín
Residents of Arguineguín were surprised at around 11:00 on Saturday morning to see a crowd gather and march noisily through part of Arguineguín, where tensions have been running high, following three months of their local port having been used as a reception camp for incoming and rescued migrants. Witnesses from the neighbourhood around the complex say the large angry mob were loudly insulting migrants as they headed through the town towards the urban tourist complex in a supposed attempt to reprimand and threaten the people being accommodated there.  Local Police officers apparently could not do anything to prevent the group from reaching the complex, where they were unable to enter, despite shouting threats from outside.
Angry mob heads for temporary migrant accommodation
During the march through the town, several migrants walking around the area allegedly had to flee, due to threats from individuals in the group of locals. The apartment complex, owned by a local hotel group, has so far declined to make statements following what happened.  It is the first spontaneous occurrence of its kind, and follows weeks of local peaceful protests expressing displeasure at the arrivals to the area over recent months, in what has been the second highest number of irregular migrants on record to have arrived by sea in one year.
The Guardia Civil are investigating the original event, thought to have sparked anger among locals using social networks to spread various versions of events, where the accounts differ greatly between those involved. Indira Díaz, 21, a social educator who had been guiding a group of minors on a day trip to the south on Wednesday, with her colleague Rachid of Moroccan descent, say the local man, Kevin León, 27, was verbally abusing the group down near a beach, and when Rachid asked him to stop they ended up in a physical struggle to the ground, but that no others were involved.  León, a native of Arguineguín, says he was attacked by a large group of migrants who he had tried to stop from verbally abusing some passing tourist girls.  Both sides have filed charges and required medical attention, unfortunately ending up at the same medical centre for treatment,  where a further altercation occurred.  There has been evidence suggesting that this second altercation was more premeditated than the first incident.

Editor’s comment:
So, we have moved to lynch mobs and perhaps burning torches next!  We need pause for thought, because this is already running far beyond what is acceptable.  Sit down, calm down and think.  Have a biscuit. There are a lot of people shouting, but very few taking time to look at the evidence.  Some fervently tell us that just one more incident and there will be bloodshed, without even knowing both sides of the story.
Some believe that the migration crisis has adversely affected tourism.  But of course tourism is not really the issue.
Lots of people have very vocally complained over recent weeks about the presence of migrants in their communities, and have now held the incident on Wednesday up as an example of why they are so “rightly” afraid of these strangers without papers.  On social networks lots of rumours are spread accusing migrants of everything from theft to violence and even rape.  Yet no evidence is ever presented for any of this.  All of these stories come second or third hand, a trusted friend of a friend, but never presenting any real proof of the facts as they see them.  They expect action against these rumours without evidence, convinced that they know what is “really going on”, and that they have been failed by society in general and now have been forced to become the protectors, regardless of societal norms.
However this is the first time, to our knowledge, that a local man has come forward, both to the police and through social networks, and specifically claimed to have been attacked and robbed by a group of migrants.  A travesty, particularly when the alleged victim, a mild mannered local boy, was so gallantly stepping in, apparently, to protect the honour of two passing tourists who he says were being jeered or molested by the alleged culprits.  His story continues alleging that these foreigner-hoodlums then follow our noble hero to the hospital to go and finish him off, chanting kill him, kill him!

León & friend beat Rachid

León & friend beat Rachid

León looks round to woman videoing

We have video of a short struggle between two or three young men in a hospital toilet, that stops as soon as a woman announces she is filming the incident.

How strangely ordinary the other side of the story seems in comparison.
A 21 year old social educator, who lives and works, we think, in Las Palmas, takes a group of 12 teenagers on a daytrip to the south.  With her is another social educator, a young man, himself of Moroccan descent.  We assume that the 12 teenagers were Maghrebi minors, but that has not been made clear, nor is it relevant. The educators say the local chap, wearing long shorts, began to verbally abuse the group, and that the male educator goes to talk to the man to ask him to stop, which results in a physical altercation between the two, with no one else involved.

Rachid talks to Kevin L, who is holding an alcoholic beverage

Wrestled to the floor “finished?”

León is helped up

We have video of of the male educator, Rachid, talking quietly to the alleged victim, while the female educator keeps the teenagers in her charge away from the conversation, and then of the man being physically blocked from the group, by her colleague Rachid, before being wrestled to the ground with a bear hug, one boy watching closely demands to know if the man is “finished?”.  The other boys then appear to pick up coins and items that have fallen from pockets to the ground to give back to the man, who is exhausted and no longer wants to fight.  Rachid then stands between the man and the group, protectively, and seems to encourage the boys to look for any dropped items in the bushes.

Simply put, this looks, to the untrained eye, like an uncalled-for scuffle between two grown men.  There is an ongoing investigation as to how and why it started.  It is for the Guardia Civil to decide what actually happened.  We do not really know more.  We certainly do not have any cause to blame migrants in general.  All we can say with any certainty is it appears that whatever caused the brawl leads to both the Arguineguín man, with a friend, going to the same medical centre where it appears they catch hold of someone, we assume Rachid, and beat them into a toilet.

In the video at the health centre it is clear, from his clothes, that León is not being attacked, it is he who, with the help of a friend, attacks and kicks another victim, dropping one of his shoes as he does.
León looks round to woman videoing him and friend attacking one other
One thing is sure. Certain far right parties, have been sharing images of and falsehoods about the educators involved, leading to direct threats of violence against them on social media. That surely cannot be encouraged or accepted.  Those people who think that violence and intimidation from an angry mob are the way to solve problems in our community are the real problem we face today.  We are better than that.  Gran Canaria is better than that. Mogán is better than that. Arguineguín is better than that.
Either we will actively safeguard a community where we can live with the rule of law as our guide, where we agree on a system of judging people based on real evidence, presented to the police and through the courts, with the presumption of innocence; or we are happy to believe that brutal vigilantes should take matters into their own hands, with an angry mob intimidatingly roaming the streets, on the basis of childish fears and unsubstantiated hearsay.  People tell us that we are already at breaking point, where the law is no longer being upheld, and so there will be more trouble to come, but that simply is not what we are seeing when we look at the evidence, we are seeing angry, powerless people looking for others to blame for their fear and frustration, and then choosing a very easy target, migrants trying to escape poverty or worse.
Surely we all must try to seek peaceful solutions for our concerns, whatever they are, and we must not become reactionaries who exasperate already difficult situations.  I pray that is  the just society we really want, not some dystopian nightmare where truth is irrelevant and fear drives brutality as a form of control.  There is already enough of that.  What sort of people are we? What sort of leaders do we have who try to whip up hatred, instead of calming people to reason?  Our public servants are there to protect us.  They work for us.
What happened on Wednesday should never have happened.  The response to it on Saturday morning even less so.  The spread of exaggerated fears with little or no care for facts is going to get someone killed, or worse still, lead to blood on the streets and the destruction of all that we hold most dear.  Let’s not do that. Please.


The Canary News

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

by Timon .:. | June 25, 2022 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, Editor's Thoughts, investigation, Migrants Gran Canaria, News | 0 CommentsSpecial 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...
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€51 million project to manage Canary Islands migrant reception facilities announced as referrals increase from the Canary Islands

by Timon .:. | May 11, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, News | 2 CommentsThe Spanish Central Government's Council of Ministers this Tuesday approved an initiative from the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, agreeing to contract the public company Tragsa, for the amount of €51 million, to provide properly managed migrant...
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Unaccompanied migrant minors: Canary Islands Ministry of Social Rights has been appealing for help for months and to all the administrations to help take responsibility

by Timon .:. | May 7, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsThe Deputy Minister of Social Rights of the Government of the Canary Islands, Gemma Martínez, said back in January that the archipelago is "clearly facing an humanitarian emergency situation" in the care of unaccompanied foreign minors, she appealed to all the...
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“An unprecedented emergency” Spain’s Ombudsman demands that the Interior Ministry not prevent the departure of migrants from the Canary Islands

by Timon .:. | April 28, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsThe Ombudsman, Francisco Fernández Marugán, tasked, as the Public Defender, to investigate Spain's response to The Canary Migrant crisis, has directly demanded that the Ministry of the Interior cease “police practices” that prevent migrants from leaving the Canary...
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On The Canary Route this year at least one person dies at sea, on average, every 32 hours

by Timon .:. | April 28, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsAir Force photograph showing twelve survivors and five deceased on board a cuyaco located in August 2020, by Search and Rescue (SAR), some 205 kilometres south of Gran Canaria. At that time there were twelve survivors on board. One died shortly after in the...
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Las Palmas judgement concludes that migrants can legally travel from the Canary Islands to the Peninsula, with just their passport and an asylum request

by Timon .:. | April 17, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsA passport and an asylum application are sufficient documents for any migrant to legally travel from the Canary Islands to mainland Spain. This fact, under the law, was formally recognised by a judge at the Contentious-Administrative Court number 5, in Las Palmas de...
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Nearly 50 arrests as part of Gran Canaria Policia Nacional investigation against people trafficking to The Canary Islands

by Timon .:. | April 12, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis | 0 CommentsThe police raids across the South of Gran Canaria, on Friday, as part of a cross border investigation into the illegal organising of irregular migration, in the municipality of Mogán, have resulted in nearly 50 arrests, with a confirmed total of 27 arrested on Gran...
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Secret police operation makes 30 arrests since coordinated raids across south of Gran Canaria on Friday

by Timon .:. | April 11, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, Crime | 0 CommentsReporting: Timon .:. Cover Image: Bård Ove MyhrSpanish National Police have so far detained a total of around thirty people as part of a secret police operation, what is being termed as a macro-operation, against people trafficking and irregular migration, linked to...
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Exclusive: Spanish police raids in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria and Arguineguín, with Europol, result in at least 15 people detained suspected of people trafficking

by Timon .:. | April 9, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, investigation, Migrants Gran Canaria | 0 CommentsThere were at least 15 people detained in a combined operation between Spanish police and the EU Agency for Law Enforcement on Friday, when agents with balaclavas, bullet-proof vests and automatic weapons were deployed onto the streets of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria...
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by Sanna | April 7, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, Business, Immigration, politics | 0 CommentsÁngel Víctor Torres, the President of the Canary Islands, met in Madrid this Tuesday with Spain's Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, Miquel Iceta, to conclude the process of transferring strategic competences, including coastal management, financial...
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Investigation ordered into Tuesday’s migrant debacle on the port of Arguineguín

Following the embarrassing scenes from the Port of Arguineguín on Tuesday, with more than 200 migrants marched out of the harbour camp by police, and then summarily transported to the capital Las Palmas, without reception, recourse or resources. The north African, mostly Moroccan, migrants were left to fend for themselves in front of the closed buildings of the Spanish Government Delegation. The Ministry of Migration eventually were able to organise some return transport to bring 139 of them back to the south and into the Vista Oasis tourist bungalow complex, organised for them to temporarily stay in, in Maspalomas. An investigation has been ordered in to what happened.


Investigation into migrants removed from Arguineguín port on TuesdayPolicía Nacional marched migrants out of the port of Arguineguín on Tuesday, who were then transported and left without recourse, resources or proper information after a panicked mayor of Mogán, in her unique humanitarian style, scrambled to transport them away from the town, and have them unceremoniously deposited in the captial, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where they were simply left to fend for themselves.
The Ministry of the Interior has ordered an investigation into what happened, after last night the Ministry of Migrations and Canary Islands Regional Government were left to arrange buses to collect the migrants and return them to the south of the island, and into empty tourist accommodation, ensuring they did not have to sleep on the streets.
Sources this Wednesday say the Arguineguín port is at breaking point with 2,300 people in the makeshift Red Cross camp, meant to hold less than 400. The Spanish Government have today ordered the immediate opening of military facilities that were already being prepared to process the arrivals and relieve the situation on the south of Gran Canaria.
Posted by The Canary News on Wednesday, November 18, 2020

As the confused but grateful men boarded the three chartered emergency buses, they repeatedly called out “Thank you very much, merci beaucoup”, to the authorities and all the residents of the city who had spontaneously shown up at the Plaza de la Feria, to offer assistance, food and water.
At around 4p.m. on Tuesday, Policia Nacional marched 227 people from the dockside camp, on the basis that irregular migrants cannot legally be held for more than 72-hours, without any being subject to either to criminal judicial inquiry, quarantine or restriction of movement for other health reasons.  On the basis that the camp is full to overflowing, with an estimated 2,300 held there this Wednesday. All of these individuals had been tested for COVID-19 and there is no reason to consider them as having broken any laws, and so it seems an unplanned decision was made to removed them from the port as further rescued migrants were incoming.
Their eviction from the port of Arguineguín was carried out without prior notice, and they were simply escorted directly to the street, without a reception plan, without resources and without information about what they should do next, which it seems caught the Government of the Canary Islands, the Mogán Town Council and the NGOs by surprise.
The town hall was the first to react, with Mogán’s panicked mayor immediately trying to prevent the migrants from leaving the port of Arguineguín while transportation was hurriedly arranged to take them away from her town, and to the capital, ostensibly to bring them closer to the Moroccan Consulate and Spain’s Government Delegation, according to her deputy, Mister Navarro. Nearly 200 of the migrants were persuaded to board the buses, despite not having a place to sleep or anything to eat, and without any knowledge of what to do next.  Mogán then left them on the streets of the capital to fend for themselves.
Meanwhile, Spain’s Ministry of the Interior announced that they were investigating why this situation had occurred, the Ministry of Migrations and the Canary Islands Regional Government coordinated with other administrations, including the City Council of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the Red Cross, to prepare alternatives so as to prevent them from having to spend the night on the street.
A tourist complex, the Vista Oasis in Maspalomas, which has been empty for some time due to the COVID-19 health crisis, offered the solution.
The Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs in Las Palmas (FEHT) and the UGT and CCOO unions, had been in the press and on television that same day, to demand, in unison, that hotel establishments not be used for the accommodation of migrants as they are “not suitable” and should instead be prepared to resume tourism activity in southern zones in expectation of the winter season.  However the likelihood of any serious tourist numbers this winter, in many people’s opinion, is still a distant, if optimistic, prospect
Citizen Solidarity From Las Palmas Residents At The Plaza De La Feria For Port of Arguineguín Migrants
While the migrants last night waited for solutions, on the streets of the capitol, before being relocated, many citizens flocked to the Plaza de la Feria to offer water, some food and support to the migrants. As well as the residents of the area, some organisations such as the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR) and the Federation of African Associations in the Canary Islands also came to the square offering assistance to these people.
Of the nearly 200 migrants who were brought on the buses from Mogán, in the afternoon, 139 of them boarded buses, supervised by the Red Cross, in three groups of 60, 36 and 43 and headed for Maspalomas, between 9:30 p.m. and 10:40 p.m.
This Wednesday, the new superior chief of the Canary Islands Police, Rafael Martínez López, was scheduled to take office in a formal ceremony with the general director of the force, Francisco Pardo Piqueras, and the Spanish Government Delegate, Anselmo Pestana. However, due to the controversy generated by what happened in Arguineguín, the Delegation announced that this act was being postponed.


The Canary News

Up to 800 migrants will be transferred to military camp in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

The Spanish Army have constructed a transit camp at their old Barranco Seco facility, ready to start receiving migrants currently crowded onto the harbour pier in the port of Arguineguín. The army’s Twitter account was used to announce that the Canary Islands XVI Brigade has erected 23 tents (nine more than those available in Arguineguín) at the facilities assigned to the Ministry of the Interior, to which, once completed a total of up to 800 migrants will be transferred and accommodated and so help put an end to the deplorable situation that has continued for the several months on the south of the island.

La Brigada ‘Canarias’ XVI del @MCANA_ET monta un campamento de 200 plazas con 23 tiendas en el antiguo polvorín de ‘Barranco Seco’, en Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.Instalaciones transferidas al Ministerio del Interior @interiorgob . pic.twitter.com/ZgLwAw0mxm
— @EjercitoTierra ?? (@EjercitoTierra) November 11, 2020

When, exactly, migrants will be transferred is still not yet known, with the first tents, containing 200 berths, having been completed today.Earlier this summer, the Spanish Red Cross had tried to set up an emergency camp, in collaboration with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), with tents and prefabricated modules to accommodate up to a thousand people, on land granted by the Spanish State Port Authority, in Arinaga, on the south east coast of Gran Canaria.  The idea, then, was to anticipate a long expected rebound in migrant arrivals, which they had repeatedly warned could start to reach record numbers by the end of summer 202 and the first weeks of autumn, when Atlantic weather conditions in this area generally favour navigation in small boats.
However, weeks later they had to dismantle the reception camp due to the refusal of the Agüimes Town Hall, who would not give the necessary permits, which caused the UNHCR to remove the facilities and left the Red Cross to erect a makeshift camp at the Arguineguín dockside, which is the main Maritime Rescue landings base for the south of the island, and where several search and rescue vessels are maintained.
That camp opened on August 20, theoretically for a maximum capacity of about 400 people at a time, but has been repeatedly overwhelmed by the much higher than expected flow of migrants, reaching up to 1,400 people a day at times, to which Gran Canaria’s humanitarian reception network could not respond quickly enough, even after they expanded their available resources by placing migrants into tourist resort accommodation, that had been left empty due to the current health crisis.
At times more than 2,000 people have been crowded onto the Arguineguín port, without sufficient tents available for everyone, in all cases forced to sleep on the ground, their only protection from the elements a blanket, and in some cases having had to remain there up to two weeks at a time, when legally conditions such as these should not exceed 72 hours.  The effort has been further complicated by needing to test every arrival for coronavirus, and wait at least 2 days for the results, while maintaining each group of arrivals separately from each other.
Spain’s Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, announced during his visit to the island, last Friday, that “in a few weeks” the Arguineguín camp would be closed and facilities provided by the Ministry of Defense would take over the reception protocols for new arrivals.

Editor’s Comment:
About bloody time.
That it has taken this long to confirm that migrants will be transferred from the Arguineguín port is pretty inexcusable. Particularly as it has allowed far-right anti-immigration rhetoric to publicly rear its ugly head on the south of the island, using a humanitarian crisis to prey on the fears and frustrations of a population already suffering from profound poverty, questionable leadership and the economic effects of the crisis generated in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic response. Fascist ideologies thrive when falsely pitting one set of poor people against another, as has been seen time and time again.
By claiming concern over the treatment of migrant arrivals, local politicians too have insidiously sought to distract public attention from serious allegations levied against them, following multiple arrests in an ongoing electoral fraud investigation, and shielded them from scrutiny after the local town hall’s highly controversial decision to close the only food bank distribution point in the area.
With luck, the flow of migrants will be reduced over coming weeks as the weather becomes less favourable and the proper processing of those arriving on the islands can continue in an orderly manner, without racists pretending to be realists to further their own interests, and allow EU and Spanish governments to try to work more closely with migration experts and African countries from which many of these people try to escape in an effort to reduce the causes of these migratory flows which have lead more than 15,000 people to risk their lives in open boats to come here. We can hope too that proactive policies may start to reduce, too, the estimated thousand or more people who have died horribly in the attempt already so far this year.
More than 7,000 migrants have reportedly been transferred to mainland spain, into facilities set up by the Ministry of Migration, with those currently being temporarily accommodated in tourist resorts expected to be moved on too in coming weeks.
Arguineguín, in Gran Canaria’s southern tourist municipality of Mogán, can once again begin to return to the multitude of social issues that have been affecting the area, both before and since the pandemic wrought havoc on the local economy and poorest members of society.


The Canary News

Gran Canaria President wants migrants quickly moved on to mainland Europe

The president of the Cabildo de Gran Canaria island Government, Antonio Morales, this Saturday urgently requested that migrants arriving on the island be transferred to mainland Spain and to Europe as quickly as possible, because, in his words, The Canary Islands “should not become a prison” for people who reach its shores in boats or pateras, saying that he wants migrants quickly moved on.
He was visiting the Arguineguín harbour wall (in the southwestern municipality of Mogán), where 222 migrants remained still, and Morales reaffirmed his view that the solution is not to transfer these people temporarily to different facilities around the island, but instead to facilitate their leaving the Canary Islands, to head for the peninsula and Europe.
More hotels can be enabled, to accommodate arriving migrants but when the winter season begins “what do we do?”
“We can continue searching and hosting, but until when?” the president asked himself rhetorically.
For Morales, that “the transfer of these people be made possible,” is of the highest priority, because “it is what they themselves also demand, to reach Europe, work and reach places where they have family and friends.”
The 222 migrants at the Arguineguín dock are waiting for PCR tests and results so as to verify their covid-19 coronavirus status.
“We do not want Gran Canaria to be a prison for them,” Morales said, adding that it is because Europe has quite successfully “closed the Mediterranean corridor, that only this route remains, the most dangerous, but right now the only one.”
It is likely that migrants “will continue to arrive”, he warned, for which he has asked that “the detection systems for these vessels be improved because there is a part of the island where it does not work” saying he thinks it to be “absolutely necessary” that there is full coordination between the ministries of the central government.
Of the highest importance is that measures are taken “to transfer these people to the European continent” and thereby avoid repeating the drama of Moria (Greece), where 13,000 people are crowded in to camps. “This drama cannot be reproduced” on this island, he stressed, making clear that he wants migrants quickly moved on elsewhere.
He demanded from the various administrations “more coordination, transparency and information to row in the same direction”, with a “shared” workload that facilitates the de-escalation of “rejection, social alarm and fear”, division which lead to “xenophobic groups and racism by far-right groups.”
For her part, the mayor of Mogán, agreed on the need to allow migrants to continue on their way because “her expectation” is that they should not try to stay in Spain.


The Canary News

More than 400 migrants in Arguineguín crowded on to a dockside in a heatwave

A man died while trying to reach the Canary Islands by sea aboard one of the eight boats that reached the Archipelago yesterday with more than 200 people on board. The deceased was part of a group of 58 migrants who were rescued by Salvamento Marítimo (Marine rescue) five kilometres south of Tenerife. Six boats arrived on Gran Canaria, the occupants of which were added to those already on the Arguineguín dockside, on the south-west of the island, detained and for several days on asphalt with more than 400 migrants in Arguineguín now sleeping under canvas, according to the Red Cross.
On Tenerife, a pleasure boat reporte the sighting of a patera, in the early afternoon, five kilometres from the coast of Las Galletas, in southern municipality of Arona, close to ​​Varadero beach. A SAR Helimer 202 helicopter headed to the scene, to oversee the rescue operation, according to reports from Europa Press.
On board the boat were 58 people, including several women and children, who were transferred to the Port of Los Cristianos by the Salvamar Alpheratz marine rescue vessel. One of its occupants died before reaching Tenerife and others had to be transferred to health centres on the island once on land.
A patera arrives at Los Cristianos, Tenerife
Hours later a second boat arrived on Tenerife, at a beach located between Granadilla de Abona and Arico, carrying 43 people on board.
Rescue operations on Gran Canaria started before sunrise. During the early morning, Maritime Rescue personnel aboard the Guardamar Talía transferred 27 people to Arguineguín who were intercepted sailing towards Gran Canaria in two boats. On the first, located by a Civil Guard patrol about six kilometres from Maspalomas, were eight migrants. On the second, detected two nautical miles away, were another 19. All appeared to be in good health upon arrival at the harbour, according to the the Canary Islands Government’s 112 Coordinating Centre for Emergencies and Security (Cecoes).
Two boats landed on the south coast of Gran Canaria by their own means early in the morning. The first made landfall at Castillo del Romeral at around 9:30 am with ten people on board. The second was in Maspalomas, where the Police were deployed to locate its occupants, who had dispersed along the beach.
During the morning, the Salvamar Menkalinan Maritime Rescue vessel had to participate in two consecutive rescue operations to the south of Gran Canaria. At around 11:00 a.m. arriving in Arguineguín after helping 54 people who were about eleven kilometres from the Mogán coast. After leaving these migrants on the dockside, she set out again to pick up fourteen more people of Maghrebi origin who were approaching Gran Canaria in another boat.
Both groups were also directed to the provisional makeshift camp set up in Arguineguín by the Red Cross, where yesterday more than 400 people remained, according to sources, cited by the Spanish news agency Efe, from the emergency services that attend this facility. This number is similar to the total number of migrants arriving in the Archipelago throughout all of 2019 (418) via the Atlantic route. The volume of arrivals led the Red Cross yesterday to call on volunteers from all over the island to join and assist their deployment in the South.

The situation which now sees more than 400 migrants in Arguineguín, in Red Cross tents for several days, exposed to temperatures exceeding 30ºC in the shade for much of the day, generated a lot of tension yesterday. During the morning there were protests from the migrants themselves, in which the National Police had to intervene to try to keep calm. According to sources from the Government Delegation in the Canary Islands, 28 people were transferred from Arguineguín to relocate them to another point on the island, although they did not specify where.
Source: LaProvincia


The Canary News

Mogán now accuses Neighbourhood Food Project of sanitary, technical and social irregularities

Last night TheCanary.TV, in an exclusive, went live with the sudden, and previously unknown discovery of a planned attempt to evict the volunteer-led charitable association, known as The Food Project, (Proyecto Vecinal de Alimentos de Mogán Nabohjelpen) from their main distribution premises in Arguineguín, where they have worked over the last 11 years to coordinate assistance for literally hundreds and hundreds of Mogán families as part of their work to support the poorest in our community.
While the CIUCA Mogan majority led town council have repeatedly expressed their distaste for this citizen-led project, they have apparently never tried to address the underlying issue that necessitates this group of volunteers working to ensure that poverty-stricken residents of Mogán are supported when they are failed by the system, whether this be due to problems of unemployment, homelessness, learning difficulties, rough sleeping and various health issues for which scant assistance, if any, is provided by the municipal government of Gran Canaria’s south west.
It seems the live broadcast, from editor-in-chief Edward Timon, has rattled some cages.  Having now been viewed more than 8,000 times, this morning the Mogán Town Hall announced a hastily put together “press conference“, to explain, in their own words, why they had passed this motion without consultation, a decision that risks putting to an end the work of this community project, run by the Asociación Vecinal de Las Lomas Dos, neighbours association. The Mayor and the Councillor for Social Services, having so quietly added this minor agenda item earlier this week, sure had a lot to say in the more than half hour press conference at 1215, which, it may be pointed out, took more than double the 15 minutes they had allowed for the 12 noon meeting in which the motion was carried today to begin the attempted eviction of the project from their main base.
Here is what the town hall had to say this evening on the official council website, Mogan.es, citing various hotly refuted accusations against this team of neighbours working so hard, from municipal premises, to try to protect and support some of the most vulnerable in our community:

“The mayor of Mogán, Onalia Bueno, and the councillor for Social Services, Tania Alonso, have explained at a press conference the reasons why the local administration has started the administrative file in which it is agreed to cease the Mogán Neighbourhood Food Project organisation’s food distribution activity and recover the municipal premises transferred by the Local Government Board in June 2009. This decision is justified after a lack of coordination and collaboration between the entity and Social Services, in addition to technical reports that prove a lack of protection mechanisms to guarantee safety, the structural deficiency of the property and hygienic-sanitary measures required for the development of the activity they carry out.
In the clauses of the transfer of the premises, its exclusive use for the distribution of food is contemplated, however it is also being used as a warehouse for belongings, a fact not allowed. Furthermore, among the obligations contracted by the entity is the guaranteeing of the good condition of the facilities, making necessary repairs as well as paying for water and electricity.
“After eleven years the obligations have not been fulfilled, which has led us to intervene in the face of the numerous deficiencies endorsed by the technical reports on Public Works, Health and Consumption and Public Services,” Mayor Bueno pointed out. The reports contemplate the multiple problems that this place presents, such as the accumulation of large items that in turn has caused the existence of rodents in the old Arguineguín Infant School. Also the absence of hygienic-sanitary measures due to the lack of adequate thermal installation that does not allow acceptable interior air quality, circuits bridged in the electricity supply, deficiencies in protection systems, humidity and more leading to the conclusion that the premises does not meet the minimum conditions of habitability.
The Las Lomas Neighbourhood Association has received, on multiple occasions, from municipal staff, request to remove the stored items, warnings that it has ignored. “The accumulation of large objects, added to the other deficiencies, represents a potential fire risk,” said the mayor.
“When we entered the Government in 2015, we made first contact with the Association to find out the role it played with regard to the distribution of food. At that time we were already aware of the existing coordination problems between the social workers and the Association, since there was no communication on their part regarding the people who received food, which is essential to avoid duplicating aid” said Councillor Alonso.
Already in 2014, the previous government group tried to sign a collaboration agreement whereby the Association would have to provide the Town Council with a monthly list of users who come to collect food from the premises, so as to exclude them upon requests or indications of a social worker – either because they already receive aid from the Town Hall itself or because their income is sufficient to meet their basic needs. “The president of the Association never agreed to sign the agreement, proof of the refusal to collaborate with municipal Social Services,” said Alonso.
“Throughout all these years we have tried on various occasions to coordinate this work, but it has never been achieved. Only a few emails have been exchanged with the Association’s Project, in which some files on people who benefit from the distribution of food were requested,” continued Alonso. Despite having received responses to e-mails from Social Services about users who do not meet the requirements to receive the distribution of food, the Association, being aware of the duplication of resources, has continued to provide the service to these people.
There are several official documents that support that there must be coordination and collaboration of inescapable compliance between non-profit entities and the public network of social services, including documents from the Spanish Agricultural Guarantee Fund, the Food Bank of Las Palmas 2019 Annual Report and the General Social Work Council.
Based on these documents, the Town Council has attempted to coordinate with the Neighbourhood Food Project and has continued to refer users. However, after analysing the data that the entity has provided to the Food Bank of Las Palmas, and published on its website, these numbers do not coincide with the number of cases derived through the municipal Social Services.
“The Association claims to serve 162 people in December 2019 when the Town Council had not derived the same amount. Currently they claim to distribute food to more than 300 families, but only 16 have been referred from Social Services,” Alonso concluded.
Both the mayor and the council have concluded their interventions stressing that it is Social Services who must be the ones to guarantee the right of all people to access the public social protection system in order to accompany, attend to, and cover the basic needs of the population, without forgetting coordination with the third sector that can act as a complement to the work of social work professionals.
Finally, they have thanked the volunteers who have participated in the Neighbourhood Food Project in an altruistic way, from whom they have also asked for understanding of the decision made due to the reasons detailed.”
We will bring you some live coverage of the press conference, and reaction from the association as part of our news round up later this week.
#Mogán #FoodBank #BancoDeAlimentos #TheFoodProject #TheLongWalk #GranCanaria #SaveTheFoodProject


The Canary News