'Race row' attacker gets death threats
2 November 2007, BARCELONA - (AFP) - A man accused of attacking an Ecuadoran girl in an alleged racist assault on a Spanish subway has received death threats from Latin American youth gangs, a report said Thursday.
2 November 2007
BARCELONA - (AFP) - A man accused of attacking an Ecuadoran girl in an alleged racist assault on a Spanish subway has received death threats from Latin American youth gangs, a report said Thursday.
The assault on a Barcelona train on October 7 was caught on security cameras and broadcast widely on television.
Police believe Sergi Xavier Martin, 21, is the man seen kicking and punching the 16-year-old girl while talking on a mobile telephone in an incident condemned by the government of Ecuador.
He was detained on October 19 and last week a court released him without bail but ordered him to report to police twice a day until the start of the trial.
Martin however has since changed residences and is under police protection after getting death threats from members of the Latin Kings, a gang made up predominantly of Ecuadoran teenagers, private radio Cadena Ser reported.
The incident has thrown a spotlight on racism in Spain, which has experienced a rapid rise in the number of immigrants living within its borders, especially from its former colonies in Latin America.
The number of immigrants living in Spain soared from around half a million in 1996 to 4.48 million at the end of last year out of a total population of 45.12 million people, according to national statistics institute INE.
Moroccans make up the largest group of immigrants with some 576,000, followed by Romanians with 525,000 and then Ecuadorans with 421,000.
Subject: Spanish news