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The migratory route to Spain becomes the deadliest in the world

So far this year have passed 217 people, one out of every 29 who has tried. In the Central Mediterranean it is one of every 36, according to the International Organization for Migrations

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The migratory route to Spain becomes the deadliest in the world

The bodies of 15 migrants who were trying to reach Spain were rescued last Sunday in a adrift in waters of Algeria. The month ended as it had begun. On 1 April 11 Africans lost ir lives in strait waters. The Western Mediterranean is scene of a drip of shipwrecks, deceased and disappeared that have made it what goes from 2018 in most lethal migratory route in world, more lethal than that between Libya and Italy and that border between Mexico and states United. One of every 29 migrants who have tried to reach Spain since January 1, 2018 has died or disappeared, compared to one in 36 of those who were going to Italy, according to data collected until May 2 by Missing Migrants Project of international organization PA RA Migrations (IOM).

That makes it most dangerous route on planet, not in gross numbers. Six out of ten migrants killed this year during voyage drowned in Mediterranean, mostly after sailing from Libya. Less than one in Ten lost his life on U.S.-Mexico border.

IOM "is alarmed by rise of dead" among those who depart from Africa to Spain because "in a matter of four months almost same people have died in past year," says IOM spokesperson Joel Millman. Between January and May 2, 217 people have been drowned (and y have reached coasts 4,400), when in all 2017, 224 migrants lost ir lives (when arrivals amounted to five times more: 22,108), according to data of Missing Migrants Project.

Those responsible for this organization, created by IOM from a journalistic project to account for migrants who die en route, insist that se figures are estimates calculated on basis of official arrivals data, rescued, Intercepted by Coast Guard of coastal countries and testimonies of survivors of sunken Pateras. Last year, crossing to Spain irregularly was much less dangerous. While Camino de Italia died one of every 50 migrants, road to Spain was one of every 128 and Greece one out of every 833.

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This spectacular increase in dangers in Western Mediterranean has not attracted attention or has not been highlighted by Spanish and European authorities, who have emphasized in recent months strong increase of arrivals in this way. An increase that began to be noted after EU-Turkey agreement, which nippinged in 2015 very crowded Balkan route through Greece from Turkey, and Italy's most recent efforts (with diverse agreements and support to Libyan coast Guard) for curbing exits of SDE Libya.

Miguel Zea Gandolfo knows very well waters for which Africans try to reach Spain. Head of Coordination center of Maritime Salvage Almeria, points to precarious pateras one of causes of increased danger. "Boats are becoming more precarious," she explains on phone. It says that "y are not rmo-sealed", y buy components separately, glue m with glue, and "Sometimes boats are broken after an hour or two sailing". The engines are second, third hand, and "y don't even carry means to ask for help." A lethal cocktail. The IOM spokesperson agrees to point out boats.

Zea also emphasizes strong increase of arrivals to Spain and " bad wear continued this winter, which takes m [to migrants] to sail as soon as y see slightest opportunity" of improvement.

Maritime salvage manages figures of dead and different from those of IOM because, according to its chief of Almería, it only accounts for operations in which it participates; But his data also reflects that trip in Patera in Western Mediterranean is becoming more and more dangerous. Salvage numbers in 83 dead (only in April were 36) and in 4,013 migrants who managed to reach coast from 1 January. Last year y counted 153 dead and nearly 19,000 rescued. That is to say, drowned until April supposes half of deceased that in 2017 while located ones are one fifth part.

The shipwrecks of 2018 in Straits area may attract less attention because y affect ships with dozens of passengers, not like sinking of ships that had sailed from Libya or Egypt with hundreds of passengers who have moved to Europe in last Years by causing between 300 and 400 dead in a single event like that of Lampedusa in 2013. The lethality of a route can vary greatly if a large shipwreck occurs or traffic increases dramatically.

Millman, IOM, also mentions, as anor possible factor to explain that route to Italy is less unsafe than to Spain, operations deployed by EU and NGOs in Central Mediterranean to rescue Pateras. He adds that "I had never seen so much [migratory] activity from Algeria to Spain."

The maritime rescue representative offers some details of what happened to scuttle sunk in Algeria on Sunday. His men and women were looking for her but passed hours and didn't give her. "Here it is very difficult to leave a patera and do not get news of it because relatives often alert NGOs."

The mystery was resolved when y were told that boat had not really sailed from point y originally said but from somewhere else. That led m to conclude that vessel should be in waters of Algeria. They told ir colleagues in Arab country that y found her. Along with 15 corpses, y rescued 19 survivors.


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