Stories written by Inés Benítez
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Spain: A Precarious Gateway to Europe for Syrian Refugees

Little Samir covers his face with his hands as he plays under the orange tree in the centre of the inner courtyard of the Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (CEAR) centre in the southern city of Malaga. He is four years old and has spent nearly a year in Spain, where he arrived with his parents, fleeing the war in Syria.

Hemp Defies Hurdles to Make a Comeback in Spain

Spain is experiencing a resurgence of hemp, one of the species of cannabis with the lowest THC content, which has been used for millennia to produce textile, medicinal and food products.

Community Electricity Lights Up Spain

Until recently it was inconceivable for small groups of organised citizens in fully electrified industrialised countries like Spain to generate their own power from clean sources of energy, challenging the prevailing energy model.

Soaring Child Poverty – a Blemish on Spain

“I don’t want them to grow up with the notion that they’re poor,” says Catalina González, referring to her two young sons. The family has been living in an apartment rent-free since December in exchange for fixing it up, in the southern Spanish city of Málaga.

Sea Swallows the Stories of Africans Drowned at Ceuta

“Who will speak for them now? Who will tell their stories to their families in Cameroon or Ivory Coast?” asked Edmund Okeke, a Nigerian, about the 15 migrants who died while trying to swim to the shore of the Spanish city of Ceuta from Morocco.

Door Closing on Universal Justice in Spain

The pursuit of universal jurisdiction in Spain is drawing to a close because of a bill that will entail the dismissal of over a dozen criminal investigations in the country’s courts and will make it very difficult to open new cases of crimes against humanity.

Ordinary Spaniards Lend Saharawi People a Helping Hand

Volunteers are hard at work in an industrial warehouse in the Spanish city of Malaga, organising thousands of kilos of rice, sugar, lentils and oil to be shipped this February to Saharawi refugee camps in Tindouf, in the west of Algeria.

Moroccan Women Porters – Heroism and Hardship on the Border

Before sunrise, a Moroccan woman waits her turn at the pedestrian border control separating her country from the Spanish city of Melilla. Hours later she crosses over, takes up an 80-kilo bundle of merchandise and carries it back to her country, for a payment of less than six dollars.

Educational Network Erases Borders

Hundreds of students from Spain’s Canary Islands, Senegal and the Sahrawi refugee camps outside of Tindouf in western Algeria are meeting each other and breaking down cultural barriers thanks to the Red Educativa Sin Fronteras.

Assisting Rather than Deporting Trafficking Victims in Spain

María came to Spain from Paraguay to work as a housekeeper in a hotel. But it was a false job promise, and she ended up in a nightclub, where she was forced to work as a prostitute.

Some Spanish Police Protect Immigrants

They are members of Spain’s Guardia Civil. But instead of pursuing undocumented immigrants like the rest of the police in Spain, they are there to defend them from the crimes to which they often fall victim.

Breaking New Ground for Trans Children

Gabi was born six years ago biologically male, but dressed up as a princess and wore necklaces and long hair so that everyone saw a little girl instead.

“One Day in There Is Like 100 Years”

"It’s just like a prison. One day in there is like 100 years,” says Jennifer, a 35-year-old Nigerian woman, describing what her aunt went through in the Immigrant Detention Centre (CIE) in this city in southern Spain before she was deported.

Homeless Again

A police cordon kept everyone out of the Buenaventura “corrala” on Thursday after the police evicted 13 families living in the occupied building in the centre of this southern Spanish city early in the morning.

Victims Memorial in Spain Awaits Names of the Dead

A pyramid is being built in the old San Rafael cemetery in the southern Spanish city of Málaga - a monument to thousands of people shot by firing squads here during the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War and the 1939-1975 dictatorship of General Francisco Franco.

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