On Monday, the prosecutor’s office in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain, announced an investigation into potential hate crimes committed by members of WhatsApp chat groups, which are trying to organize in ways to intimidate or beat immigrants.
News agency Efereported that prosecutors are looking at several pieces of information exchanged two weeks ago, calling on group members to go to southern Gran Canaria to attack immigrants living in tourist accommodations that have been temporarily converted into immigration facilities.
According to ElPais, with the opening of new immigration centers in other parts of the archipelago, protests are also breaking out here. Last Saturday, demonstrations were held in La Isleta and El Lasso, two neighborhoods in Las Palmas, where these facilities are located.
Spain once again became the main gateway for irregular immigrants to enter Europe, mainly because of the reopening of the Canary Islands route. According to data released by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on December 28, the number of land and sea arrivals in Spain last year was approximately 41,000, compared with 34,100 in Italy and 15,500 in Greece.