This picture of a broken Zodiac (inflatable boat which migrants use to reach Europe) was taken on Saturday afternoon 27th of September on the beach of Tangier. It happened right after the police had forcibly stopped a legal sit-in to protest against the raising violence against migrants in Tangier.
It’s just a small example of how this border regime works: Try to stop as many people as possible before they reach the EU for no matter which costs and keep critical voices silent.
We can’t say who were the people in this Zodiac and what happened to them but we can imagine the worse. The last time many Zodiacs were found at the cost around Tangier was right after the night of the 12th of August when an estimated 85 people (there’s no official number) drowned between Tangier and the Spanish town Tarifa.
Two days later, on the 29th of September, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) published a study about migrants’ deaths worldwide “Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration”.
According to this study:
- Since 2000 more than 40.000 people died worldwide while migrating. 22.000, so more than the half, lost their life trying to reach Europe, which makes Europe the world’s most dangerous destination for migrants.
- Only between January and September this year 3000 illegalised migrants were killed by Europe’s border regime.
- It is likely that the real number of deaths is considerably higher, as authorities try to hide the deaths of people they are responsible for, as many people disappear in remote areas on the high sea without being recorded, and as “collecting data on migrant deaths has never been a priority for most governments around the world.” So “experts now believe that for every dead body discovered, there are at least two others that are never recovered.”
It should give people something to think about when even the IOM (which is mostly paid by the governments of the developed countries and which is pretty much involved in even those deadly border regimes) says that:
- “Our message is blunt: migrants are dying who need not. It is time to do more than count the number of victims. It is time to engage the world to stop this violence against desperate migrants.”
- “Undocumented migrants are not criminals. They are human beings in need of protection and assistance, and deserving respect.”
- “The paradox is that a time when one in seven people around the world are migrants, we are seeing an extraordinarily harsh response to migration in the developed world.”
- “Although vast sums of money are spent collecting migration and border control data, very few agencies collect and publish data on migrant deaths.”
- “Collecting data on migrant deaths has never been a priority for most governments around the world.”
Anyhow, we don’t think that a simple monitoring of “fatalities” at the borders is sufficient. As long as there’s a kind of migration management which is made by the rich countries based on a capitalist and law and order logic and which is denying people their freedom of movement and their right to stay, the murdering at the borders will go on.