NewsEuropeNearly a thousand deaths in their attempt to reach Spain so far...

    Nearly a thousand deaths in their attempt to reach Spain so far this year

    So far in the first half of 2023, almost a thousand people have lost their lives in their attempt to reach Spain by sea, according to the NGO Caminando Fronteras. This tragic figure reflects the reality of the four main migratory routes that connect the African continent with the European country. The lack of intervention by rescuers is also cause for concern: despite the calls for help, there is a lack of action by these services.

    A heartbreaking reality. A new report published on Thursday, July 6 by the NGO Caminando Fronteras reveals a devastating statistic: a total of 951 people have drowned at sea while trying to reach the Spanish coasts or islands from the African continent. This equates to an average of six people per day.

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    This figure that highlights the human tragedy taking place in the Mediterranean recalls that each of these deaths represented a story, a dream and a life lost in the waters that separate continents.

    The collective, in its report, reveals that since the beginning of 2023, 19 boats with all the people on board have disappeared, while 112 women and 49 children have lost their lives.

    Caminando Fronteras, an organization founded in 2002, has played a crucial role in collecting data related to migration. Through the tools of this group, migrants can communicate the position of their boat and the number of people on board in case of danger, while the families of migrants also provide relevant information.

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    Four fundamental maritime routes, identified by the organization, serve as connections between Africa and Spain for migrants in search of refuge or better living conditions.

    The route to the Canary Islands stands out as the most dangerous, linking Senegal and Mauritania to the European continent. The Alboran route connects the Moroccan region of the Rif, in the north of the country, with the coast of Andalusia. In addition, they are found the route through the Strait of Gibraltar and the route from Algeria towards the Spanish coast and the Balearic Islands, also used by migrants to reach Spain.

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    Two additional entry points are made by land: the crossings to Ceuta and Melilla, Spanish cities with no access to the sea, located in Morocco.

    © france24

    According to the report, the Canary Islands route has witnessed the majority of migration tragedies, with a total of 28 incidents and the unfortunate loss of up to 778 lives.

    A “politics of death”

    The organization’s report highlights the lack of intervention by both the Spanish and Moroccan authorities, an accusation supported by various testimonies collected by Caminando Fronteras.

    According to the report, the breach of the rescue duty, the delays in the activation of the search and rescue means, the insufficient resources once activated, the deficient rescue practices and the lack of coordination between the Spanish and Moroccan governments are found among the causes of the high number of fatalities.

    The collective also denounces cases of human rights violations, where the survivors have suffered arbitrary arrests, forced transfers and physical attacks. In addition, missing victims have been denied the right to be searched for, while those whose bodies have been found have been buried in mass graves, without following identification protocols or providing dignified burials that respect their beliefs.

    Helena Maleno, coordinator of Caminando Fronteras, highlights the installation of a “politics of death” on the border for a long time. In addition, she highlights the increase in impunity in the face of rising mortality rates, which leaves victims and their families without access to reparation and justice.

    Human rights organizations are questioning the methods of cooperation between countries in relation to migration. Spain, in line with the countries of North Africa, has arbitrarily established bilateral migration policy models, which has resulted in a reduction in the protection of people’s rights. A tragic example of this is the joint repression carried out by the Spanish and Moroccan law enforcement agencies during the attempted entry of a migrant into Melilla on June 24, 2022. One year later, the facts remain unclear, leaving the families of the victims without answers about how their loved ones died or disappeared.

    On the other hand, it is an undeniable fact: the issue of migration and its relationship with security has acquired a strong role in the electoral campaign ahead of the general elections on July 23 in Spain.

    In recent weeks, as the deadline approaches, populist parties have been relentlessly repeating anti-immigration messages, making violent rhetoric against migrants a key part of their communication strategies.

    The Vox party, led by Santiago Abascal, has been especially influential in fueling this rhetoric. After the general elections of November 2019, this far-right party became the third political force in the country, marking a historic milestone, since since the end of the democratic transition process in 1982, no far-right party had won seats. in the Congress of Deputies in Madrid. During his last electoral campaign, Vox focused his speech on anti-immigration issues, combining it with a fervent appeal to the nation and exaltation of patriotic values.

    Walking Borders, local press

    Source: France 24

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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