Tag: victims

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.


Disrupted: People trafficking network that brought hundreds of sub-Saharans to the Canary Islands

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