”Ecologists arrested and corrupt protected”, ”No more destruction of our land”, ”Fraga resigns for ecocide”. At least 350 people, according to the data offered by the Government Delegation in the Canary Islands, have demonstrated this Tuesday against the Cuna del Alma tourism project, which aims to build 420 luxury homes in Puertito de Adeje. The protest was held in front of the Hotel Escuela de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where the Minister of Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, presided over an awards ceremony for Tourism Excellence on the occasion of the World Day of the Sector.
Penalty file against the promoter of the last tourism macro-project in Tenerife for destroying a site
About twenty National Police officers guarded the area during the concentration, which lasted for more than an hour and ended without incident, according to the Government Delegation.
This mobilization, called to “save Tenerife and save the Canary Islands” from cement, was held a day after the tension erupted in Puertito de Adeje. This Monday there were several violent episodes in the area between workers of the promoter and environmentalists who have been camping there for months as a sign of protest. The day ended with the arrest of the president of the Salvar La Tejita platform, who was released a few hours after the arrest.
Tension in the Puertito de Adeje
The first confrontation took place around 07.00 in the morning. When the sun had not yet risen, a group of people who identified themselves as security guards from the Cuna del Alma works showed up at the camp. The objective was to recover the shovel to which the activists chained themselves 65 days ago.
According to the testimony of the people from the encampment, the activists were attacked. A report of injuries to which this newsroom has had access states that one of the activists presented bruises, anxiety and a bruise on the head.
After the workers managed to take the shovel, some of the campers went to the promoters’ offices. The director of Cuna del Alma, Andrés Muñoz, was there. The businessman recorded several videos in which some protesters are identified calling him a thief and corrupt and accusing him of having assaulted an activist.
Another video released by environmentalists shows Andrés Muñoz grabbing an activist by the arm from behind until she falls to the ground. In a complaint filed with the Civil Guard in Adeje, the young woman assures that once she was on the ground, Muñoz kicked her several times, she suffered dizziness and could not stand up, so she had to be evacuated in a ambulance. Muñoz assured this newspaper that he was the one attacked, because the activists “threw stones” and rebuked him.
”He assaulted us verbally and physically. Fortunately, a colleague had the cold blood to record to show that this happened,” María González, a historian and one of the activists who has filed a complaint, explained to this newsroom.
Likewise, González has demanded that public administrations break their silence and position themselves in relation to this project, which has destroyed archaeological sites. On September 2, the General Directorate of Heritage of the Government of the Canary Islands opened a sanctioning file against the developer for the “significant alteration and destruction of an archaeological site”. The company, Segunda Casas Adeje SL, is exposed to a fine of 600,000 euros, the maximum foreseen for “very serious” infractions against property.
”I want to clarify that this demonstration is not only against Cuna del Alma, but also against the tourism model that does not generate wealth. The Canary Islands are one of the Autonomous Communities with the highest poverty rate”, María González underlined.
The City Council does not want to make statements
The protesters have once again demanded this Tuesday the resignation of the mayor of Adeje and also president of the PSOE in the Canary Islands, Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga, for ”ecocide”. Despite the clashes that took place this Monday, the municipal corporation has preferred not to make any statements.
”The City Council regrets any episode or violent act that may occur in this case or in any other circumstance. At this time the City Council is not going to make a statement on this subject. The City Council was not present at the time of the events, there are two opposing versions of what happened and the City Council, without having more information, cannot make an assessment of them,” sources from the corporation respond to this newspaper.
”In the event that there have been incidents, we regret that they have happened and we hope that they will not be repeated. We are waiting for the information that the competent authorities see fit to transfer to us in order to make an assessment of the facts,” they add.
For his part, the president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, spoke on Monday before what happened. ”Unfortunate events occurred in the Puertito de Adeje, in Tenerife. Dialogue is always the right way to solve problems. Never violence. Let everything that happened be clarified, “he wrote on his Twitter profile.
At this time, the activists not only maintain the camp on the site where the project works continue, but they have also moved their claim outside the developer’s offices. There remain 25 people and another six chained. This group has not been able to travel to Santa Cruz, but has drawn up a manifesto that has been read at the demonstration: “We know that the work that your model gives us is misery and pushes us to be economic exiles to work for four pesos in the rich countries. We know that the true wealth that sustains our lives is not in the bank accounts of any national or international investor, but rather in the land we inhabit”.