Las Palmas Prosecutor Beatriz Sanchez on Monday ordered to investigate several messages that called to attack immigrants who are staying in some tourist establishments temporarily reconverted into humanitarian shelters.
In the last months, the Gran Canaria island registered an arrival of African immigrants that overwhelmed all the assistance services. At the Arguineguin dock, a camp was set up to house 2,600 people, who were recently sent to hotels and facilities set up by the military.
The Interior Minister reported that 23,023 migrants arrived in 2020, a figure that implied a 757 percent increase in the migratory flow with respect to 2019. In November, when the peak of arrivals was reached, over 5,000 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands in small and precarious boats.
Llegaron vivos. En Caleta de Caballo, en #Lanzarote, en las Islas Canarias, 29 migrantes llegaron exhaustos a la costa en patera, tras una peligrosa travesía por el Atlántico. Entre ellos iba un niño y fueron ayudados por vecinos. Imágenes difundidas por @BiosferaMedia#Españapic.twitter.com/brFbFFSjHe
The meme reads, "They arrived alive. In Caleta de Caballo, in Lanzarote, in the Canary Islands, 29 exhausted migrants reached the coast in a boat, after a dangerous crossing across the Atlantic. A child was among them and they were helped by neighbors. Images released by Biosfera Media."
Since then, social networks have spread xenophobic messages comparing mass immigration to the Canary Islands with what is happening in Lampedusa (Italy) or Lesbos (Greece).
Racist messages with phrases such as "the Moors are going to die" and calls to organize armed groups to persecute African migrants were also circulated through cell phones.
In the last few days, despite the curfew declared to contain the pandemic, three demonstrations were held against the presence of immigrants in Las Palmas.
The Franciscan Fathers have also denounced that the refugee camp managed by their humanitarian foundation is frequently stoned and its users suffer threats and aggressions.