The figure is chilling. 2087 is the exact number of migrants who died at sea in an attempt to return to Spain. Spanish NGO Caminando made the announcement on Tuesday 6 July in a report on the migration situation in 2021. A number that must scare the political authorities because it is five times higher than the number of victims counted in the same period in 2020.
Spanish NGO Caminando has released the 2021 report on illegal emigration to Spain. On Tuesday, July 6, according to Helena Maleno, spokesperson of the NGO, in the first six months of the current year, 1922 migrants died in boats on the maritime route between Morocco and Spain. “In the first six months of this year, we almost got to last year’s figures and that’s really amazing!” , she told RFI by telephone.
That is why, according to her, measures should begin to be taken to put an end to this situation, a real headache for public authorities in Africa. This necessarily requires close collaboration between the Spanish government and African countries with, in the first instance, Morocco, the departure zone for most migrants. “We alerted the Spanish government. They were told to find ways to stop this whole situation. We need to improve the rescue services that are there, but we also need to improve coordination with third countries. Coordination between Europe and third countries works very well for migration controls. Why is this collaboration not done to defend the lives of all these people? No one has to die in the water to cross a border! We have to improve this coordination, we have to improve this communication.” ,” she added.
Maleno believes that the problem of illegal emigration is not taken seriously enough by the authorities. The necessary coercive measures are not applied correctly. She talks about a business around this phenomenon that is gaining ground at a pace that is difficult to control. “There is currently a political problem between Spain and Morocco and as a result there is no collaboration to save lives in the water. Migrants are thus in the midst of all this political and diplomatic blackmail. It’s a business. The lives of migrants have become a business. We must stop all this. We must return to this Europe of human rights and we must stop the situation that is happening today. There are ways to stop it, there are capacities,’ she says.
It should be noted that throughout last year, 2170 migrants died at sea, according to the Spanish NGO Caminando, a number almost reached in the first six months of 2021. This unfortunate situation is no doubt linked to the precariousness and difficult living conditions of young people in the African continent. Without any hope of employability or active participation in the economic life of the continent, they prefer to brave the obstacles at the cost of their lives to try to return to the Canary Islands.