news banner

Local News

This news is translated from the Spanish Press unless otherwise indicated.

Cruise ships cause problems at the port

The limitations of the wharf for cruise ships in Puerto del Rosario were in evidence once again. This was caused by two liners coming to the port at the same time. One of which had to berth in the commercial part, close to the area where the ferry, Armas unloads. Therefore the passengers disembarking off this ship,had to walk through containers and working machinery

Brian and Tina Johnson's murderer found guilty

The trial of Juan Carmelo Santana Alamo began this week. This is the person accused of murdering two ex-pats in El Cotillo. Juan has admitted that he killed them with a hammer, and even recounted how he covered the bodies in plastic, hid them under his bed and got rid of them the next day. However, Juan Carmelo Santana Álamo, 42, does not know why he committed the double murder. The incident occurred on July 11, 2006, in the rented house where Juan Carmelo Santana lived with his son. He was 3 months behind with rent but he states there was no argument over money. When she told me I had to vacate the house in August, I flipped but I do not know exactly what happened. The defendant explained that the first killing was of Tina Jane Johnson, 58. Then he did the same to her husband, Brian Johnson, 60, who arrived shortly after to see where his wife was. The medical examiner who performed the autopsy found it difficult to specify the number of hammer blows. "They suffered so many blows that can not be accounted for, but there were more than ten," he said while stressing the severity of injuries. "The cause of death was from the head injuries inflicted and many of the injuries were unnecessary," added the doctor. The coroner also argued that the death of the woman was not immediate, even stated that "she might have lived if she had received medical care." The accused then wrapped their heads in plastic "to stop the bleeding," and hid the bodies under the bed. That evening he invited his friends,Cristina and Luis, round for a bottle of wine but neither of the guests knew that Carmelo had killed that morning, or that he had hidden the bodies under the bed. Cristina said "He behaved like any other day, and I did not notice anything unusual." Luis said the same as of his friend, "I did not see anything strange while at the house of the accused." The next morning the accused moved the bodies which were found four days later by a hunter in a field, covered with stones.
The findings of a psychiatric report rejected he is suffering from a mental illness. This "explosive reaction" was triggered by the announcement that he had to leave his home. Carmelo claimed a number of reasons to try to justify the atrocity of his conduct.. "I put the blame on alcohol and drugs, because they provoke violent outbursts," said Carmelo. "I had no intention to kill. It was all a coincidence." He added: "I am a cool person because I've seen dead bodies at work and my wife died in my arms." The prosecution recalled the "cruelty" of the facts to claim the maximum sentence: 25 years for each offense.
The jury did not accept Carmelo's excuses for his behaviour and unanimously found him guilty as charged.
The couple's son Sam said he was happy a conviction had been secured and would now try to move on with his life.
"I am pleased at the outcome but nothing can ever bring my parents back," he said.
"At least I now know this man will spend a long time behind bars for what he did. I am less happy at the wording of the verdict, particularly the distinction drawn between my mother and father in terms of their suffering. What level of suffering did Mum need in order to be equated with my father? My father died instantly but she was left there to die and might possibly be alive today if she had received medical attention."
He added that while his mother serviced the flat where Santana lived and collected the rent, she was not his landlady.
Mr Johnson added that he would try to get his parents' bodies flown back to Wales. They had been buried temporarily in Fuerteventura in 2006 in case more forensic tests were needed.

Fuerteventura Book fair honours local correspondent

The Fuerteventura Book Fair, which opens Thursday, will be devoted to the journalist Juan Jose Felipe Lima, who died in 1969, and who for many years was a correspondent on the island. The fair this year will be attended by prominent writers such as Juan Cruz also a journalist, who will launch his latest novel.

Local Companies look for new markets

The company Cororasa, from Fuerteventura, will shortly begin the construction of a wharf to extend the fishing port of Nouadhibou in Mauritania, Morocco. The economic situation faced by the island has meant that many companies have their sights on Africa. Several companies from Fuerteventura have opted to emigrate to various countries in Africa and Cape Verde in search of new markets. Cororasa has already been in Guinea and Senegal for many years. The aim of the project is to expand the fishing pier of this important African country.

Iberia flight makes an emergency landing

An Iberia Airbus, approaching Fuerteventura from Madrid, declared a state of emergency when a smoke detector in the cargo hold went off. The plane landed safely and emergency services meeting the plane found no fire or source of heat. Although the return flight was cancelled to allow a thorough examination of the plane, causing the 190 passengers waiting to board to be put up in hotels.

Definition sought for ownership of energy fields

The Canary are pressing for a clear and precise definition of the waters that lie between the archipelago and Morocco. Out in the ocean, between Morocco, the Canaries and Western Sahara, multinationals have arrived in search for much needed natural resources. A gas field has already been found off the coast of Morocco by Repsol and Natural gas, and a Norwegian company is sinking wells off Bojador, on the coast of Western Sahara. A private American oil company, Kosmos, is also on the scene and is carrying out its own searches, and if information received is correct they are already paying dividends. Kosmos is eyeing up the valley of Agando, in Tuineje, as a base, believing it to be ideal for convenience, safety and tax reasons. An official approach has apparently been made to the relevant authorities. Good news! not just for the future prosperity of the Canary Islands in terms of investment and job creation but in the search for new sources of oil and to cut the dependency on the traditional markets. The oil may or may not belong legally to Morocco, Western Sahara or the Canary Islands, which is why something must be done to regulate the situation and defining the waters is imperative and urgent. However, green campaigners are already worried about the spin-off effects, such as harm to the environment, forests and fisheries.

New charter airline forms on Fuerteventura

A group of pilots from the airline Futura has found employment in the Canaries. They will establish a new airline with support from institutions of the islands, who re willing to endorse the project with six million euros. Workers will contribute 1.5 million euros received in respect of compensation of a wage guarantee fund, reported sources close to the negotiations. The Chamber of Commerce in Fuerteventura has led the negotiations to involve the chamber of Lanzarote, Las Palmas and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the project. The venture does not rule out the involvement of the Autonomous Canarian Government. Prospective shareholders have demanded a change of name; the initial project was called Illes Balears-Airways with the offices in the Canary Islands. The airline will start with two aircraft, two pilots and thirty stewards, forty ground crew and twelve flight mechanics made redundant by Futura. In the first year of operation the company estimates it will have 125 employees, a figure that could double in the third year of life. The company is going to be making charter flights from Britain and Germany in particular. The low-cost Ryanair pulled out of Fuerteventura on the last day of January has left a market open for different airlines to capitalise on the tourists that wish to come here. The Councillor for Tourism in the Canary Islands has held meetings with representatives of Thomas Cook and TUI, to continue the efforts for increasing the amount of tourists from the UK for the summer season.

British Ambassador honours Civil War fighters

This week, the British Ambassador, Denise Holt CMG, took part in a commemorative event in Madrid to honour both Spanish volunteers who fought with the Allies during World War II and British, Irish, US and Commonwealth members of the International Brigades killed during the Spanish Civil War.
The event, was organised by the Descendants of Spanish Exiles Association (Asociación de Descendientes del Exilio Español) and took place in Madrid's Fuencarral Cemetery where many members of the International Brigades were buried during the battle for Madrid between National and Republican forces. The ceremony began at 1200hrs and lasted one hour.
Representatives of the Spanish Prime Minister's Office, the Spanish Ministry of the Defence and the Diplomatic community were also in attendance.
HM Ambassador and Mr James Jump, descendent of a British member International Brigades, unveiled a granite plaque to honour the memory of the British, Irish and Commonwealth volunteers killed. The plaque was funded by the International Brigades Association and the Descendants of Spanish Exiles Association.
The Ambassador said:
"Liberty in Europe is something we almost take for granted nowadays but it is so important to remember the many that fought and die, on both the winning and the losing sides, so that we can enjoy the freedom and liberty we have. Today I am here to pay special homage to those from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth who fought in Spain....."
Some 2,300 British volunteers fought with the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) of which an estimated 500 were killed.

Fuerteventura airport goes digital

Fuerteventura airport has been added to the popular computer game Flight Simulator. The renditions of the landscape are highly accurate as they are based on satellite images. The programme allows you to fly planes in and out of the island, so if you want to buzz Caleta, get this new module! For more details check here.

Tourists want to return to Fuerteventura

Toursists coming to the island have been partaking in a survey by the Tourist Board. The results showed that 97% would  recommend Fuerteventura as a holiday destination, and 92% would like to come back, which is a fairly good sign that the island is a popular place for most of our visitors.

Fuertenews is a free publication bringing you news and views about Fuerteventura. Any donations would be welcome.