There's bad news today regarding two of Spain's biggest social problems, illegal immigration and domestic violence. Nine immigrants drowned when their raft sank off the Canary Isle of Fuerteventura, the island closest to the Moroccan coast. So far in 2003 ten rafts are known to have sunk, with 67 confirmed dead or missing and presumed dead. These statistics include 15 drowned off Fuerteventura in January and 12 drowned from a raft found between Tenerife and Grand Canary in February. Yet the Spanish media go wild when a truck full of illegal Mexicans get found dead somewhere in West Texas. The problem in both countries seems to be the same to me; more people want to come to Spain and the US than, at least some believe, either country can handle. As long as that attitude persists, there will be illegal immigration and some illegal immigrants will die, since illegal immigration is by definition dangerous and full of low criminals likely to take your money and dump you in the sea under the pretext of guiding you to the promised land. By the way, Iberian Notes strongly supports the execution of "coyotes" who abandon their "clients" to die. That's first-degree premeditated murder with the aggravating factors of extortion and breach of promise. Hang them. They're scum.
More than forty people have died in Spain this year as victims of domestic violence. Yesterday, in the crummy part of the Sant Andreu working-class area of Barcelona, a man beat his common-law wife to death with a hammer. The two were fiftyish alcoholics. They had met seven months ago and she invited him to live with her, since he had nowhere to go. The two argued and fought all the time, according to the neighbors, and threats of violence were heard several times by different witnesses. The cops spent a lot of time breaking up fights at their place. Once she locked him out and he took off all his clothes and pounded on her door until three in the morning (there's the pacifism and tranquility of nudism for you). She finally got a restraining order. Not much later he jumped her from behind when she opened the street door to her apartment building; he was waiting inside and clubbed her to death with a hammer. She had been out walking her dogs. The reporters point out that the dogs, found in a state of shock by the woman's body, immobile and trembling, were the only so-called irrational animals in this story. This, of course, is another case of premeditated murder with aggravating circumstances, including violating a restraining order and breaking and entering to get into her building. There's no insanity defense since he knew what he was doing and knew that it was wrong. Hang him. He's scum.