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The route Spanish boats reached the figures of 2008

Until September, they have rescued more immigrants than in 2016 because of the restrictions in Libya and the “under surveillance” moroccan, according to NGOS

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The route Spanish boats reached the figures of 2008

through To September have been rescued more immigrants than in 2016 because of restrictions in Libya and “under surveillance” moroccan, according to NGOS

it Was a morning hard and intense in Strait of Gibraltar, as it had been in months not remembered. Protected by darkness and encouraged by calm sea, hundreds of immigrants on board of poor boats were launched to try to reach Spanish coasts. To incessant night, re was a, not less, intense morning in Alboran Sea. In just 12 hours on 17th of August, rescue services rescued 600 people, largest number of migrants assisted in year-to-date. It was only a sample of how trickle of boats has become so incessant that in this 2017 number of migrants rescued in Spain has already surpassed all aided in 2016: 11.043 served until September, compared to 10.389 of previous year, according to Red Cross.


  • Doors sea
  • Rescued nearly 600 migrants on coast in less than 12 hours

The NGOS are clear that increase responds neir to accidental causes or unique and y point to two reasons keys. On one hand, transfer of migration flows due to increased restrictions in Libya. Anor, less vigilance on moroccan coast to conflicts and riots that grip area of Rif. Both factors have made summer in coast of Cadiz, Malaga and Almeria has been made of boats rescued, according to data of Red Cross. Up to now, has been June, month with highest number of assisted, 2.384, compared to 671 in same period of 2016. In July, Red Cross responded to 1.855 (in same month last year re were 371) and in August amounted to 1.506 people (in opposition to 1.155 of same time of 2016).

figures from Red Cross, we have to add of those boats whose occupants were discovered on ground (and not required in health care), which arrived without being intercepted or that y did not do so by sea. In fact, Guard European Borders and Coasts (Frontex) raises to 14,000 arrivals so far this year. This means that figure has increased “more than 2.5 compared with previous year”, as said last Monday, director of Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, in a press conference that was cautious to define reasons of increase of boats.

The accumulated of se eight months, according to Red Cross, as not only is that higher than all 2016, but you have to go back to 2008 -when it was rescued 12.690 people in total - to find influxes similar. Although numbers are still far from 100,000 immigrants who come to Italy from Libya in this 2017, stand out, because in face of decline of or migratory routes, european, Spanish not to grow. And it expects number to rise considerably until end of year, especially with arrival of September and October.

for over 10 years that immigrants were not arriving in rickety wooden boats

The data comparable to 2008 are not only reference to past that sea brings in se past few months. Although y are image most iconic and one that gives name to phenomenon of migration in Spanish, what is certain is that for more than 10 years that immigrants were not arriving in rickety wooden boats, known popularly as boats. “However, this year y have returned to see, especially with people of maghrebi origin”, as recognized in activist Ana Rosado, of Pro Human Rights Association of Andalusia (APDH-A).

The back of boats is joined to back of pneumatic with more than 20 people, as was case before. “They keep coming back little that y began to get years ago, (in reference to rafts, toys and even surf boards), but we are finding that has been taken on big boats and that is weird,” admits Pink. On board of m, greater part of ir occupants are men in sub-saharan africa, followed by north africans. Of seconds, a figure growing y are under age. In fact, Jose Carlos Cabrera, cultural mediator of center under The Copper of Algeciras, estimated that only to area of Field of Gibraltar “have reached a 79% more minors with regard to 2016”.


New routes and motivations

Until now, routes of immigration, most prominent are three: Two of m are ones that go from Nador (Morocco) and Oran (Algeria) to Almeria and Granada by sea of Alboran; and that which unites al-hoceima (Morocco) to Malaga, and Tangier (Morocco) and Cadiz. However, it has detected anor longer way in small boats that travel coast from Larache (Morocco) to Cadiz. “It is a new route that lasts more than 16 hours,” says Estrella Galán, secretary general of Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR).

Moehcine Hammane, intercultural mediator at Fundación CEPAIM Algeciras, and a member of collective Ideas for Peace, it is clear that increase in Spanish routes has “a political motive”. “Given that Libya is now situation is more complicated for immigrant, many of people that are trying to reach do it for Morocco”, recognizes Hammane on a trend that he believes will continue to rise. “The refugees who sought that route now moving from landform to Morocco to try to cross from re,” adds Pink, although she adds that this change does not directly affect majority of sub-saharan africans arriving in Spain.

From Frontex show cautious to define reasons of increase of boats

In fact, Galán points out a key reason for Spanish routes: “eir of a more orchestrated or not, fact is that Morocco seems to have lowered ir sea control”. Galán believes that this apparent laxity in control is caused, in turn, by target of security forces to conflict in Rif. Pink also notes phenomenon, and pointed out as a possible reason “ reinforcement of security of fence of Ceuta in last few weeks”. “It is difficult to opt for a single reason. We are investigating on ground more possible causes, migratory movements function as communicating vessels,” adds Pink.

What is certain is that increase already brings to head some of actors involved in attention to newcomer. To over 2,000 children that have attended this year, regional government of Andalusia has had to pull resources from emergency and even set up a centre of respite care in a camp Fee. Are not only ones saturated. Carmen Velayos, secretary at Cadiz of Unified Union of Police, criticizes fact that police are “overwhelmed at 100%” by situation.

once rescued and cared for by Maritime Rescue, Red Cross and Civil Guard, police, corresponds to work of documentation, control of CIE in Algeciras (and ir auxiliary Fee), and repatriation of immigrants (in case of some of moroccan origin). “Missing template in police stations and in detention centre. In case of repatriations, incumplimos protocol as housed in a group, when it is determined that re should be an official for each returnee”. Therefore, Velayos not hide his concern: “we have Already alerted all relevant agencies of scarcity of media and improvisation with which it is acting.”

however, since National Police have ruled out giving any reply to union, and have been limited to clarify that care is under control. Estrella Galán also makes an appeal to caution. Believes that Spain “is not in a situation of alarm” and is able to act. “The or thing is misalignment absolute that exists in welcoming and integration of immigrant,” adds Galán. With foreseeable increase of immigrants in coming months, responsible of CEAR is not only one who has made it clear that decisions made here will determine arrival of immigrants. “Although it may not appear so, movement is from top to bottom. Depending on what you do in Europe, so it will be immigration”, remacha blunt Moehcine Hammane.


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