Regional News, week ending Friday 18th May 2001
MORE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS INTO TARIFA
A total of 151 illegal immigrants were caught last Sunday off the coast of Tarifa, Motril and Ceuta. 40 were found in a patera or duck boat off Motril, while a further 14 Moroccans were caughtin the port of Mortil itself. Another 12 immigrants managed to make it to Castell del Ferro also on the Granda coast before being picked up. 52 immigrants were caught one mile off the coast of Tarifa, while a further 47 Moroccans were picked up in Ceuta, in a zodiac. A police officer was also injured while detaining two immigrants found travelling in a vehicle on the N340 at Los Barrios, Cadiz. Three immigrants detained in a boat one mile south of Tarifa were charged with an offence against public safety when they were found to be carrying several hundred grammes of hashish each.
CRISIS IN SUGAR SECTOR
The sugar sector in Malaga and Granada is undergoing something of a crisis. The 170 families which depend on sugar cane cultivation in Malaga province are about to start the sugar cane harvest, with nowhere to take their produce. The price of sugar cane has remained frozen for four years, and the employees are unhappy with the form of payment by the sugar factory at La Caleta, Salobreña. The Churriana reception centre for the crop in also under threat as producers are being told to take their harvest directly to Granada, to cut costs. Workers in Malaga province say they will go ahead with the harvest, but they will not send a single lorry to take away the crop, which they say they are likely to throw in front of some public building this week.
A fifty year old man was seriously injured by five blows to the head with an axe at the weekend. The assault came in Ceuta at the weekend, when the man refused to hand over valuables to a robber he found as he was returning home. The robber then dealt out the axe blows and fled, leaving behind a knife at the scene also. The injured man managed to alert emergency services and was taken to hospital where his condition is said to be serious but not life-threatening. The robber remains at large.
A woman died in Lepe, Huelva while she was taking part in the weekend romería in honour of the town's patron saint, la Virgen de la Bella. The incident happened early yesterday morning while followers were praying to the Virgin. Manuela MS suffered a heart attack and was taken to the Lepe Health Centre where she died.
The number of complaints about the andaluz justice system has risen by 27.4% in the last year, according to figures released yesterday. The Defensor del Pueblo,Jose Chamizo presented the figures to the Andalucian parliament yesterday, saying that the area of complaints where growth had been highest was in education. Chamizo also said that there had been an increase in complaints about the length of time taken by the justice system, and the lack of personnel to deal with cases. There are 87 vacancies for magistrates and judges at present in the region.
OLIVE OIL FRAUD
The Audiencia in Jaen has sentenced two men to two years imprisonment for falsifying figures relating to the production of olive oil. The men,aged 31 and 43, altered figures in their 1995/96 declaration which meant they were paid 8 million pesetas in aid. The discrepancies were spotted the following year. The men are to pay a fine of 1000 pesetas per day for the next eight months.
Two prisoners, handcuffed together, managed to jump out of a police vehicle on their way to court in Seville yesterday. The two took advantage of a set of traffic lights to jump out of the vehicle and provoke a spectacular chase through the streets of Seville. One of the men was named as 21 year old RVH, a drug addict from the age of 16 and with over 60 court cases pending. His mother had previously come out in public to ask that her son be treated like a someone with an illness, saying he will never change unless his addiction is addressed. The two men were caught after a half hour chase by police.
SHOOTING IN ALMERIA
A man was shot in the Pescaderia district of Almeria on Sunday evening, while he was celebrating the first communion of his daughter. The family were in their home when two people entered and fired at the man. The bullet went through his lung, and his is now dangerously ill.
OMEYAS EXHIBITION A SUCCESS
Culture Councillor for Andalucia, Carmen Calvo said she was delighted at the response to Cordoba's new exhibition celebrating the ancient Muslim civilisation in Cordoba. The Splendour of the Cordoban Omeyas, as the exhibition is called, received 22 and a half thousand visitors in its first week. Calvo said "We have treid to take a complete and integrated look at the people, the facts and the chronology of when the Arab civilisation left the middle east to come to Europe." The exhibition runs until September 30.
The Consumers Association of Andalucia has warned about the free access to pornography enjoyed by children visiting Internet cafes. The Association has asked café owners and the Junta de Andalucia to look at possible measures to control this access. A spokesman for the organisation said that as so often, legislation lagged behind new technology, and added that many parents were consulting the Consumers Association, but they had no legal mechanisms to deal with their complaints either. He said that the Consumers Association is asking for café owners to act responsibly and protect children, the same way as is done with the sale of alcohol or tobacco, and went on to explain how serious the situation is, with hoardes of 13 to 15 year olds filling internet cafes at night keen to access pages that their parents wouldn´t allow them to see.
NEW BANK FOR ANDALUCIA
A new bank has been born in Andalucia, the Alcaja bank. It has come from a union between the El Monte and the San Fernando savings banks, and will be the second largest bank in andalucia behind Unicaja, and the eleventh largest bank in Spain. The bank will have 1.4 billion pesetas in deposits, and will manage 1.3 billion pesetas in credit for its clients. It will have 700 branches, and almost 3,700 employees.
BRITISH IN GRANADA FLAG ARREST
Two British citizens have been arrested in Granada for pulling the Spanish flag off the mast outside the Police Headquarters in Granada. The arrests came in the early hours of yesterday, when officer saw two youths creeping up on the main door of the building, before climbing up onto a window and pulling the flag off the mast .
IMMIGRANT SIT-IN IN ALMERIA
Some fifty immigrants are staging a sit-in in the Works Department of Almeria. They are demanding the regularisation of their papers so that they can stay in Spain, similar to those who have staged other protests in recent months. The new sit-in has surprised the authorities because last week, the Govenrment sub-delegate said immigrants who could prove that they had been in Almeria since before January 23rd, and had work, would have their papers put in order.
PREPARATIONS FOR MOROCCAN EXODUS
It's predicted that over 2 million Moroccans will cross the Strait this summer in the regular annual pilgrimage home, beginning on June 15.2.3 million people using half a million vehicles are likely to make their way to the ports of Algeciras, almeria and Malaga. The operation involves the hiring of 2,600 extra staff at the ports at a cost of 1,200 million pesetas to ensure minimum waiting times. 115 people will be taken on to deal with language, legal and information problems, 54 doctors will be available and 400 Red Cross volunteers manning 9 ambulances. Improvements this year mean that Algeciras will have 9 thousand parking places, 2000 more than last year.
STRAWBERRY BUSINESS IN TROUBLE
The strawberry production business, Doñana 2000 has been accused of transporting a group of 100 immigrant workers by night in refrigerated lorries. The company has already been denounced for serious maltreatment of its labour force. A trade union representative said the company transports the workers by refrigerated lorry from Rociana del Condado in the morning the strawberry fields, and then returns them the same way at night. The union also say that the company has not changed the way its treat its workers since being denouced to the Labour Inspectorate. The denuncia said that the workers had their drinking water rationed, were given no toilets, not sitting or dining areas, and no electricity. They wree housed in metal shacks.
A man has been arrested in Aznalcollar, Seville, for firing at two rangers who had caught him poaching. The man has been charged with attempted murder. The incident happened last month in Sanlucar la Mayor, when the rangers found two youths by a dead deer, and one which was still alive. When they asked the men to identify themselves, one of them fired at them and they fled. Balistics were brought in to investigate the incident, and the weapon used was eventually identified, leading to the arrest of 28 year old RCM.
RUSSIAN GANG BUST
Police in Marbella, Estepona and Mijas Costa have arrested six members of two Russian organisations carrying out extortion, arms dealing and money laundering, among other activities. The six, five Russians and a Cuban, nationalised Spanish, belonged to gangs thought also to be implicated in 35 murders, and many other crimes like kidnapping and smuggling. One of the gangs took care of financing the group's activities, while the other gang took care of the money laundering and spending of the money gained. The two gang leaders lived in luxurious homes in Marbella. During the operation, police seized 34 thousand US dollars,jewellery worth 45 million pesetas and top of the range cars worth 75 million, along with numerous molbile phones.
ROMAN AND MINING EXHIBITIONS OPEN
A new exhibition has opened in Seville's EL Monte Cultural centre. Called Retratos Romanos de la Betica, Roman Portraits of Betis, it contains art found in the area from I BC to 3 AD, much of it from private collections. It features 54 works, some of which are being shown for the first time, including a bust of the Emperor Augustus. And the president of the Junta de Andalucia, Manuel Chaves will open a new Museum in Huelva today, the Riotinto Mining museum. It will show how the area was mined from Roman times, including a reproduction of an underground Roman mine, created in such a way as to give the effect of humidity, heat and darkness . The exhibition traces five thousand years of past history in the area, up to the modern day British exploitation of the RioTinto mines.
The Environment Department of Jaen has earmarked a budget of 880 million pesetas over the next three years for programmes aimed at restoring populations of threatened species like lynx, the Imperial eagle and bearded vultures. The lynx programme will have a budget of 540 million pesetas, the eagle, 100 million and the vulture, 240 million. The funds will be targeted at restoring their habitats, improving the available food sources for the animals, and trying to minimise unnatural deaths among the existing populations. There will also be awareness campaigns among the human population in a campaign co-ordinated from Jaen. The Junta de Andalucia currently estimated the lynx population to stand at around 350, with about 150 of them in the Sierra de Andujar. There are thought to be only 22 breeding pairs of Imperial eagles, 70% of them located in Jaen province.The bearded vulture has already died out in the area, and will be reared in captivity.
BODY DISCOVERED IN POOL
The body of a woman was found found floating in her own swimming pool on Wednesday, alongside that of her dog. The grim discovery was made in Huetor Tajar, not far from Granada. The sixty year old woman was found to have a heavy blow to her head, and police are investigating the possibility of homicide. A vet is being sought to determine the dog's cause of death. The woman was discovered by her husband. The following day, police have arrested the 78 year old husband ,Amador RB. He is alleged to have struck his 71 wife Carmen Ortega Lopez four times on the head, killing her. Sources say the man said he discovered the body on returning to the house after visiting the doctor, but police found enough discrepancies in his story to arrest him.