A leading NGO estimates that in the first six months of 2021, more than 2,000 people died or disappeared while trying to reach the country—almost as many people were killed in all attempts, and Spain faces an unprecedented “catastrophe at its borders” Sex” for one year. last year.
in a report Released on Tuesday, Walking boundary (Walking Borders) found that from January to the end of June this year, 2,087 people died or disappeared while trying to reach Spain by sea, including 341 women and 96 children. Last year, 2,170 immigrants and refugees lost their lives or disappeared on their way to the country.
Caminado Fronteras stated that the figures for the first half of 2021 are the worst figures it has recorded in 14 years and helped rescue those who left Africa For Spain.
So far this year, the Atlantic route to the Canary Islands has once again proved to be the deadliest so far, killing 1,922 in 57 shipwrecks. Next is the route through the Alboran Sea (93 deaths in 9 shipwrecks), the Strait of Gibraltar route (36 deaths in 9 shipwrecks), and the Algerian route (26 deaths in 4 shipwrecks).
The dead were citizens of 18 countries: Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Syria, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Yemen and Sri Lanka.
Helena Maleno, who leads the NGO, stated that the governments of Spain, Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria must act immediately if a wider tragedy is to be avoided.
“We call on all relevant governments, especially the Spanish government, to hold emergency meetings of relevant ministries because of the urgent need to protect lives on the Canary route,” Mareno said. “This need must be addressed and measures must be taken so that we will not have such shameful numbers in the next six months.”
She said that if no action is taken, it will only increase the number of people killed in a year that has proved to be a terrible year of death and disappearance.
She said: “In terms of numbers, last year was the worst year to date. This year, we almost reached the same number in just six months. I made it very clear. We call on the Spanish government to stop this now. Situation so that we don’t have to talk about a catastrophic year on the border.”
She said that the number of women and children on the Canary route has increased, claiming 1,851 lives last year, and she added that they now outnumber men on some ships.
As the use of inflatable boats increases, already dangerous routes have become more dangerous. “The tragedy rate of these boats is very high. In the past six months, inflatable boats accounted for 33% of all alerts we received on the Atlantic route. This is very high. Even wooden boats are dangerous because of their The motors are broken, and the people driving them do not know the ocean or how to navigate the high seas.”
Teodoro Bondyale, secretary of the Federation of African Associations in the Canary Islands, said that deaths on the way to the islands have become too common and too normal.
“We call these people murder victims, this is not a metaphor,” he said. “The conditions these people face, especially on the Canary route, almost mean death. Strangely, this situation doesn’t happen more than it does. We really, really, worry that this is becoming normalized. , People are dying on boats and inflatable boats, and we didn’t find it.”
Caminando Fronteras saved hundreds of lives In the past few years, they have answered distress calls from people from Africa and passed on their detailed information so that the Coast Guard and the Maritime Rescue Service can rescue them. It also draws and records charts of missing ships, and works with relatives and authorities to identify the missing and dead. The bodies of 95% of the dead or missing can never be retrieved.
The new report of the NGO is published as Spanish police arrested two people More than 20 people died, including a 5-year-old girl who died while trying to reach the Canary Islands. After 13 days of drifting, among the 29 people rescued from the ship on June 30, there were suspected traffickers and allegedly the ship’s captain.
According to the Spanish Ministry of the Interior Between January and June this year, 6,952 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands, Compared with 2,706 in the same period in 2020.
more than 23,000 migrants and refugees arrived in the archipelago For the entire year of last year, it was higher than 2,687 in 2019. The increase puts tremendous pressure on the island’s receiving infrastructure And lead to poor conditions in the temporary camp.