Tag: People Trafficking
Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine
Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors
Jun, 2023 |
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
Jun, 2023 |
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
Jun, 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
May, 2023 |
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
May, 2023 |
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.
Federation of African Associations in the Canary Islands warn of likely increase in people trafficking
Nov, 2017 | Education, Government, Immigrants, Immigration, Transport
The Federation of African Associations in the Canary Islands has warned that arrivals of irregular immigrants to the Islands could be on the increase, which it considers to be a symptom of a diversion towards the Atlantic by those who seek to leave the African continent and find it increasingly difficult to do so via the Mediterranean. “We are seeing how cayucos [small, unseaworthy boats] have returned carrying 60, 80 and up to 100 people”, in what they see as a return to “the year 2006”, according to the secretary general, Teodoro Bondyale, who maintains that this fact shows that the route of entry to Europe through the archipelago is becoming active again, contrary to what local authorities say.
Bondyale went on to remark that “to say that there is no revival of immigration is denying the evidence,” warning that “in the Canary Islands we must be prepared” for a future increase in the irregular flow of Africans in precarious vessels that, in his opinion, could reach the significant numbers that were witnessed just over a decade ago. He insisted that proof of this is that, after several years in which only small boats with groups of a few dozen or less people have been arriving sporadically to the archipelago, last Thursday a cayuco carrying 103 immigrants on board was rescued and a few weeks earlier, on October 17, another one in which 95 were travelling.
Bondyale attributed these arrivals to the circumstance that “people smugglers are opting to resort to other routes because the most used [route] of recent times have been closing, which was the Mediterranean route.”
Several factors have combined, such as increased control of waters and borders by the countries of destination, leading traffickers to try to find other ways to escape from Africa to Europe, but also “abuse” to which the black population is subjected, has increased especially in territories through which they must pass, as in the case of Libya.
The secretary general of the organization said that this territory has become the scene of “an unacceptable drama, the return to slavery practices of other centuries,” that the Federation of African Associations in the Canary Islands “wants to denounce, giving voice to victims without voice who are suffering, “said his representative.
Theodore Bondyale stressed the purpose of his federation is to “protest and call for intervention by the African Union, the United Nations and international organisations for the defence of Human Rights” in a situation in which it considers that the institutions and European media “are maintaining an accomplices silence”. While reiterating his demand to act in aid of those who are victims of what happens in Libya, he stressed that Africans living in the Canaries believe it necessary to urge public authorities to take measures to face the potential increase that they predict.
Above all, Bondyale criticised the authorities for the inadequate treatment they understand is given to those who are detained once on land, which, he said, includes being “locked in inhumane conditions in detention centres such as Barranco Seco de Gran Canaria, where they live next to a police kennel and must endure the nauseating smell of a neighbouring sewage works. ” The situation is even worse in other parts of Spain in which the authorities “skip the Foreigner Act, like in Málaga, where immigrants who have recently arrived in Spain are being held in a prison that was not even opened yet” , He said.
Teodoro Bondyale Oko (Muni River, Equatorial Guinea, 1951). He has been in Spain for almost 50 years. He is a nurse, sociologist and graduate in Political Sciences, activist for democracy in his native country, Equatorial Guinea, secretary of the Federation of African Associations in the Canary Islands (FAAC) ( http: // federacion-aac. Blogspot.com.es / ) and member of the platform that questions the Spanish health policy towards immigrants. He taught classes in Health sociology for nurses at the Insular Hospital and at the Juan Carlos I Hospital, both in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
Disrupted: People trafficking network that brought hundreds of sub-Saharans to the Canary Islands
Oct, 2017 | Crime, Immigrants
An investigation by the National Police initiated in 2014 has led to the dismantling of an active criminal organization dedicated to encouraging irregular immigration of sub-Saharan citizens from El Aaiún (Disputed Territory of Western Sahara) to the Canary Islands, by means of pateras (wooden open boats).
Two of the ringleaders have been arrested in Moroccan territory by the Gendarmerie of the Kingdom of Morocco under an International Order of Detention issued by Telde’s Court of Instruction number three in Las Palmas. More than 1,500 interviews with immigrants who arrived in boats and hundreds of hours of investigation have also led to the arrest and conviction of 30 people in Spanish territories, responsible for manning the various vessels in which immigrants were transferred. Several of those arrested have been charged with crimes of reckless homicide for the deaths of eight immigrants during one of the voyages.
§ Image: CC 2.0 By Rui Ornelas
Senegalese man at the helm of the organization in Western Sahara
The investigations began in 2014, when agents detected the setting up of a criminal organization in Laayoune (the Spanish name for the city) that little by little engaged exclusively in the illegal traffic of immigrants from that zone to the Canary Islands. With more than 1,500 illegal immigrants interviewed, agents collected evidence that, together with other information, allowed them to piece together a puzzle that took them to a man of Senegalese origin.
Taking advantage of his numerous administrative and police records on file in the El Aaiún, a picture built up of this individual’s organisation progressively absorbing the rest of the criminal networks that operated in the area, eventually control the illegal business almost exclusively.
In March 2015 a patera carrying 13 immigrants of sub-Saharan origin who had been adrift for five days, without food and water and with a broken engine, was rescued – a few miles to the southwest of Gran Canaria. After the first interviews with the survivors it was concluded that at least 8 people had died, whose bodies had to be thrown overboard. These statements confirmed that the man of Senegalese origin previously investigated had organised this boat.
Image: Patera CC2.0 by Diego López Román
Between €500 and €3,000 each to reach the Canarian coast
Progress in the investigation allowed the police to identify the most prominent members of the organisation, to specify their functions, locating ‘safe houses’ and vehicles used and to figure out the amounts paid by the immigrants, ranging from €500 to €3,000 each for the illegal trip.
In addition to this, it was possible to establish contact with people who travelled aboard the boats, managing to put them safely in coordination with the Salvamento Maritimo, Maritime Rescue, to act as informants. In other cases rescue was not possible: one of the pateras suffered an accident near the Moroccan coast, drowning several of the immigrants, some of them children. In the same way, at least 4 pateras have been documented by members of this organisation to have suffered some type of accident, with almost 150 people missing, including several minors.
Monopoly of illegal traffic in the area
At its beginnings, the criminal organization coexisted with other criminal groups dedicated to the same illegal activity although they barely managed to succeed in actually getting immigrants to the Canaries, sometimes due to the actions of the authorities in Western Sahara and other times due to altercations between the organised bands themselves. The effectiveness of this disarticulated organisation allowed them to acquire such fame that they ended up driving their competitors out of business, forcing them to disappear and thereby taking over and monopolising the business of illegal people trafficking in the area.
The organization’s reach even extended to sub-Saharan immigrants who traveled from northern Morocco to Laayoune after having already failed in previous attempts to reach the Andalusian coast or been stopped jumping the Melilla fence, offering passage and a further attempt to those victims of human trafficking.
With the arrest of 32 people, 30 of whom have already entered prison, this operation is being seen as the dismantling of one of the most important criminal organisation at this time dedicated to the promotion of illegal immigration to the Canary Islands.
Source: La Provincia