Second night of riots in Roquetas de Mar, Almeria
Roquetas de Mar in Almeria was once again the scene of riots following the fatal stabbing of a resident in one of the town’s poorer districts this weekend. According to friends of the deceased the stabbing took place at around 21.45pm on Saturday evening when a man of African origin intervened in a fight and was subsequently fatally stabbed. The murdered man, from Senegal, was married with two children and had been living in Roquetas de Mar for at least 3 years. His friends believe the perpetrator of the crime was a Spanish gypsy.
Following the incident on Saturday night riots broke out when an ambulance, which had been called to a separate incident in the area, was attacked with bottles and stones. Later on the police and firemen were also attacked which led to the Civil Guard intervening. At least one policeman was injured and 4 people of African origin were detained according to the Civil Guard.
The disturbances continued when groups of Sub-Saharan Africans began to burn rubbish containers and set up road blocks.
Two flats were set on fire, one of which it is believed belonged to the man suspected of carrying out the stabbing. Shops and passing pedestrians were also attacked. Violence later spread to the rest of the neighbourhood. As a precaution the mayor of the city, Gabriel Amat Ayllón has ordered that all ambulances must have a police escort. The violence eventually died down at around 2.00 am.
The area is inhabited mainly by gypsies and Africans from the Sub-Sahara. The dead man worked in agriculture which is the largest industry in the area. At least 25% of the population of Roquetas del Mar is made up of immigrants. According to the Association called Almeria Acoge the latest incident is not due to a racist outbreak but is linked to the complicated situation of the 200 viviendas area which is inhabited mainly by gypsies and Sub-Saharan Africans.
The spokesperson for the association, Juan José Castillo, denied that any type of pre-established confrontation existed between these two groups previously. The police are still looking for the man suspected of carrying out the fatal stabbing.