During the night of 7th December, the Alarm Phone was informed about a boat which had left Western Sahara around 4am towards the Canary Islands, carrying 39 people, including 4 women and a baby. We immediately contacted Salvamento Marítimo (the Spanish Coast Guard), who confirmed us they knew about the same boat and that they have started a search and rescue operation.
Earlier today, on 8th December, and after our insistence, Salvamento reiterated us that their search operation continued, this time mentioning the incursion of a reconnaissance helicopter. Around 13 pm we received information through “Caminando Fronteras” Twitter account that 11 dead bodies had been found by the Moroccan authorities and feared them to belong to the missing boat.
In further discussions with Salvamento, we were informed that they knew about those deaths, but could not confirm us whether the boat was the same they were searching for.Few hours ago, Moroccan authorities have reported that a boat sunk near Boujdour, explaining that 11 bodies have been found, 23 people have survived and they ensure that 5 people are still missing.
Salvamento told us by 17:30 pm that they have stopped the search and rescue operation for today but will continue with it tomorrow.
Following recent events in the North Atlantic and the late rescue by the Moroccan authorities, we ask ourselves, once again, how is it possible that neither Salvamento Marítimo, nor Frontex or the Spanish Armada crafts are able to avoid tragedies and deaths as the ones we are witnessing today.
We reclaim, as members of civil society, that the Spanish State, the other EU Member States and the European Parliament, who are representatives of their constituents, take their first political steps to avoid the thousands of victims that their own border regime is adding up, and to immediately stop this method of “letting to die” people at sea, who are not in possession of a European passport.
The segregationist policies which distinguish between the so-called “refugees” and “irregular migrants” and decide on the right to move, are just manipulative and racist measures defended for the building of the European “legality”.
We demand the introduction of safe routes to Europe, the end of the impermeability of Fortress Europe and therefore the opening of their borders!
Ferries, not Frontex!