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Tenerife: Violent migrant protests over “bad food”

The number of illegal migrants continues to increase in the Canary Islands. Conflicts are the order of the day. Most recently, the police had to intervene in a migrant camp because there had been violent clashes over the food.

For some time now, the arrivals of illegal migrants from Africa to the Canary Islands have been increasing sharply. Due to a lack of space, many of the newcomers were initially accommodated in 4-star hotels and luxury resorts, as these were already empty due to Corona. But now frustration has spread among the migrants, which resulted in violent protests.  Because the stately life in luxury hotels was understandably over at some point, the illegals had to move to normal reception camps. And the menu apparently changed with the accommodation – at least the quality of the food on offer no longer seemed to match that of the hotel buffets.

NGO called the police

This poor quality of the food in the Las Raices detention center led to conflicts between the camp’s security staff and immigrants who were previously housed in hotels on Saturday afternoon. The security guards and the employees of the NGO Accem, which looks after the center, did not know what else to do and finally called the police for help to end the conflict. The police then ended the confrontation and arrested seven people.

Conflicts between residents and migrants

According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 23,000 people from Africa reached the archipelago in 2020 – seven times more than in 2019 – and hope to be brought to mainland Europe from there. Almost 2,500 immigrants arrived in the Canary Islands by the beginning of March 2021 alone, twice as many as in the same period of the previous year. The population is not happy about this, because conflicts with migrants are everyday occurrences. Only at the end of 2020 did the islanders protest because Africans had molested local girls. They also fear for the future of tourism.  That is why resident militias have already formed to ensure security. But there are also regular protests from migrants – not just because of the “bad food”. They are demanding to be brought to mainland Spain.

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