February 26, 2021

The Court orders to reopen the case on the Arguineguín camp


Arrival of immigrants at the Arguineguín pier last October 2020.

Arrival of immigrants at the Arguineguín pier last October 2020.

The Second Section of the Las Palmas Court has issued an order in which it orders the Court of Instruction number 2 of San Bartolomé de Tirajana to ask for explanations about what happened at the Arguineguín dock, in Gran Canaria, where a migrant camp was set up for months in “deplorable” conditions.

According to sources from the Prosecutor’s Office confirmed this Friday, the order of the Second Section admits the appeal of the Public Ministry to the file of the complaint presented by the mayor of Mogán, Onalia Bueno, who asked to purge criminal responsibility for the overcrowded conditions suffered since August by thousands of immigrants in the Arguineguín camp, already dismantled.

The judicial resolution orders the court to reopen the case and to carry out proceedings so that, as claimed by the Prosecutor’s Office, “some kind of explanation is given by the corresponding authorities.”

The Prosecutor’s Office alleged in its appeal that this matter could not be shelved without at least making the inquiries that it had suggested to find out whether or not the “deplorable” conditions suffered by immigrants in their first hours after disembarking from the patera are criminal or not. , as the judge herself admitted in her file order.

Dignified treatment

The mayor of Mogán, who had requested for weeks the dismantling of the first reception camp in the port of Arguineguín, presented the complaint on understanding that the place did not offer the minimum conditions to provide dignified treatment and in accordance with the sanitary regulations for the prevention of covid-19.

The judge who took charge of the case, the owner, admitted that the conditions of that camp managed by the Red Cross for the Ministry of the Interior had been “effectively deplorable”, but ruled out that any criminal consequence could be drawn from them.

The mayor, Onalia Bueno, did not formally name in her complaint any specific person responsible for the violation of Human Rights that, in his opinion, it was taking place in the Arguineguín port camp -where 2,500 people came to spend the night, five times its capacity-, but when registering it, he did tell the press that he hoped that “criminal responsibilities” would be purged in the Government .

When the councilor of the City Council where the Arguineguín dock is located, filed her complaint on October 28, 915 people were inside the camp, of which 495 slept in the open, as there were no tents for everyone. Until that moment, the largest number that the pier had housed was 1,575 people.

Well he denounced that The mandatory regulations for the prevention of covid-19 were not complied with, that there were no beds for any of the immigrants, that only 12 showers had been arranged, making access to hygiene very difficult, and that the hundreds of people gathered there shared 25 chemical toilets.

He also questioned that the immigrants only received sandwiches as food or that they were not provided with washing clothes and denounced that many of these people had had to endure “these harsh conditions for more than 15 days” in the camp, which was dismantled last month. November at the request of the Ombudsman.

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