Hate crimes almost triple in Malaga in a year with LGBT complaints at the top of the list

Hate crimes almost triple in Malaga in a year with LGBT complaints at the top of the list

Racism and xenophobia in the province remains in second place in the Spanish government report, which shows an increase of more than 20% in this type of crime

Iván Gelibter


Tuesday, 2 July 2024, 11:52

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Hate crimes have increased again this year, both in Malaga province - where they have almost tripled - and throughout Spain.

Although there is some doubt as to whether more crimes are occurring or whether they are simply being reported more than before, the situation is clear according to data. The national ministry of the interior states in its report that from 31 crimes reported in the province in 2022, the number has risen to 81 in just 12 months. In the rest of the country, the increase is also high, at more than 20%.

Despite the fact that in Spain as a whole, crimes related to xenophobia and racism top this ranking, in Malaga those that top the list are those reported by the LGBT community, such as those related to sexual orientation and gender identity. Of the 81 crimes reported, 20 were in this category.

In second place in the province are offences related to racism and xenophobia, which increased from eight to 19. In third place, with 17 complaints, are crimes linked to sex and gender discrimination.

The ministry of the interior pointed out hate crimes are characterised by illegal actions driven by "prejudice and intolerance towards individuals with characteristics or conditions (real or perceived) different from those of the perpetrator", such as race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious or political beliefs, disability, among others recognised in the Spanish Penal Code. The selection of victims is based on these inherent differences. "Therefore, a hate crime can be directed against individuals or groups, as well as their property, degrading human dignity and obstructing the exercise of fundamental rights, thus fragmenting the fabric of a democratic and diverse society where pluralism and equality are essential," The ministry of the interior added.

Standing out in the data for Malaga is the number of detainees/investigations. The report separates the known facts (complaints), the number of victims, the number of clarified facts and investigations. If the total is 81 crimes in a year, there are barely 25 arrests or investigations, which shows that this type of crime is very difficult to investigate, especially if it occurs online.

Racism, the most recurrent crime in Spain

The total number of hate crimes and incidents recorded in Spain last year was 2,268, an increase of 21.35% compared to 2022. The report shows the number of incidents reported last year has increased in all areas, except for discrimination on the grounds of illness, which has remained the same. The largest increase was hate crimes against people with disabilities, anti-semitism and anti-gypsyism, in that order. However, racism and xenophobia remain the most recurrent hate crime (856 cases) with a 13.38% increase, followed by crime against sexual orientation and gender identity (522), an increase of almost 14%.

Although the report does not separate by province, in Spain, in 59.2% of the victims are male and the age group with the most victims is between 26 and 40 (32.95%). Minors make up 14.82% of all victims in 2023, a higher figure than in 2022 (12.16%). "From the analysis of the overall distribution of known incidents by area and gender, victims of both sexes have the highest percentage in racism/xenophobia, as in previous years," the report pointed out.

Victims and perpetrators

According to the distribution of victims and their nationality, Spaniards top the list accounting for 62.15% of the total number of victims, while the figure for foreigners is 37.85%. Among the foreigners, those from Morocco recorded the highest percentage (8.34%), followed by Colombia (4.85%) and Venezuela (2.29%).

According to the data, the most perpetrators are men, accounting for a very high percentage of the arrests and investigations for hate crimes (78%).

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