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Ecuador: Immigrant Girl Attacked on Barcelona Train

Categories: Latin America, Ecuador, Migration & Immigration

A 16-year-old Ecuadoran immigrant was sitting alone on the train in Barcelona, when a Spanish citizen who was talking on his phone, proceeded to repeatedly strike the girl for no apparent reason. The images were caught on camera inside the train and brought swift reactions of disgust by bloggers in Ecuador and abroad, as well as caused others to pause and reflect on the status of immigrants in Spain.Christian Espinoza of Cobertura Digital [ES] is saddened by the images, but realizes that the attacker is not representative of all in Spain [1].

En casa, se nos iban lágrimas de las iras al ver estas imágenes mientras recordábamos el esmero que por naturaleza pone cada ecuatoriano cuando recibimos a cualquier extranjero. Claro, obviamente no son todos como Sergi en España ni en Europa y eso también se refleja en los comentarios de solidaridad en el video y medios locales (en Vanguardia.es hay más de 900 comentarios ante esta verguenza), pero esperamos que esos, los que no son todos, ojalá puedan hacer algo más que ver cómo muere esta noticia.

At home, we cry with anger to see those images, while we remember the care that each Ecuadoran takes when a foreigner visits our own country. Obviously, not all are like Sergi (the attacker) in Spain or Europe and that is also reflected in the messages of solidarity that were written in the comments of the video and in local press (in Vanguardia.es there are more than 900 comments that are against the shameful act), but we hope that they can do something so more than just see the incident goes away.

Andrej Nicolás Hillebrand, a Spanish resident, of Sly Nation [ES] provides a link to the video of the attack and also comes out against the attacker. [2]:

Hay personas que no deberían andar sueltas por el mundo. No puede ser que un hombre adulto pegue a una niña porque le viene en gana, porque la apariencia de ésta no le gusta, porque la supone extranjera. Me da asco ver actos de este tipo, me da asco que una chica, tenga que soportar abusos, golpes y vejaciones como esta por parte de un descerebrado que se cree en el derecho de pegar e insultar a quien cree extraño. Yo diría que esta chica tiene mucho más derecho a estar donde está que un sujeto violento que se debe sentir muy hombretón golpeando a una pobre niña, ese si que no debería de estar aquí, por becerro.

There are people in this world that shouldn't be allowed to be let loose. It can't be that an adult man hits a girl because he felt like it, because he didn't like the way she looked, or because she might have been a foreigner. I am sickened to see this type of incident. I am sickened to see a girl have to withstand abuse and attacks by a mindless person that thinks he has the right to hit and insult someone who he thinks is a foreigner. I would say that this girl has much more of a right to be there than a violent guy that feels macho by hitting a poor girl. He's the one that shouldn't be there.

In the video, another passenger looks the other way and does not react to the unprovoked attack. Gabby Corsales is puzzled by the bystander's inaction [ES] [3]:

Es increíble que ante estas circunstancias no hagamos nada, había otra persona en el metro, era un hombre que si podía ayudar a la menor, pero como muchos dicen, debió estar asustado y se quedo impávido. Las disculpas del agresor no bastan, se deben toman sanciones drásticas contra estos casos de racismo y xenofobia que se viven en España y en muchos otros países.

It is incredible that under these circumstances, that we do not do anything. There was another person on the metro, it was a man that could have helped the minor, but as many have said, he was probably scared and remained helpless. The apologies from the attacker is not enough, there should be drastic punishments against these cases of racism and xenophobia that takes place in Spain and other countries.

Bloggers were quick to react, as was President Rafael Correa. However, Cambiemos Ecuador [ES] doesn't buy the president's concern for the young girl [4].

Hace pocos dias en Espana, un ciudadano espanol agredio de manera cobarde a una compatriota, cuyo unico pecado era querer mejores dias y poder trabajar en paz. Nuestro querido presidente salio cual madre a socorrer a esta muchacha, a su familia, hizo promesas y hasta amenazo al gobierno Espanol. Que valentia la de nuestro lider, casi hasta parecia de verdad, solo le faltaron las lagrimas y podriamos nominarlo a un OSCAR.

A few days ago in Spain, a Spanish citizen cowardly attacked a fellow Ecuadoran, whose only sin was to want better days and work in peace. Our dear president ran out to save this young girl and her family by making promises including threatening the Spanish government. Our leader is brave, almost as much as to appear real, all that was lacking were tears and he could have been nominated for an OSCAR.

The plight of immigrants in Spain is often a topic of conversation among bloggers. Some like Uhr of Autentico Ecuatoriano [ES] writes that the majority of his countrymen and women are there looking for better opportunities [5] and stands in solidarity with those:

YO estoy con el ser humano (sea español o ecuatoriano) que sabe vivir en paz con los demás a su alrededor, que es trabajador y responsable, que sabe respetar y respetarse y que no comete semejantes actos de barbarie, que solo demuestran una vez más la podredumbre en la que vivimos.

I stand with the individuals (whether he/she is Spanish or Ecuadoran) that knows how to live in peace with those around them, that are hard workers and responsible, that knows how to command respect and show respect, that does not commit acts of savagery that only shows the poor conditions in which we live.

In another post, Uhr implores his fellow Ecuadorans in Spain to respect the local customs of their new homeland [6], without justifying the treatment by some Spanish citizens.