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Monday, August 8, 2022

limits of death

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The Melilla-Morocco border was the scene of a shameful incident on Friday. At least 23 migrants have died from choking, crushing or injuries sustained while attempting to jump the border fence, attended by about 1,700 migrants, according to Moroccan officials; 133 of them managed to cross the border, the rest got stuck in a mousetrap. The images, taken and transmitted by humanitarian NGOs working in the area, some of which add to the death toll, suggest that some young people died with no one helping them or accessing medical attention left, which could have saved her life.

As much as the borders are inviolable and the duty of the security forces on both sides is to prevent mass intrusion, we have witnessed a flagrant and horrific violation of human rights. A minimum principle of humanity should be able to prevent such heartbreaking situations as dozens of people were trapped in a deadly avalanche and how they were treated afterwards. These masses of people piled up on the ground, you don’t know how many wounded or corpses make an unbearable picture.

This is the bloodiest episode with the highest number of victims to have entered Spain via Ceuta or Melilla. At least from those on record. The most tragic so far, killing 15, occurred in the El Tarajal area of ​​Ceuta in 2014, when Guardia Civil agents fired rubber bullets and tear gas at a group of migrants attempting to swim in. The open cause for this lawsuit was recently filed, but the belief that many of these deaths could have been avoided has not gone away. What happened this Friday requires an investigation monitored by international organizations. Coping with a massive influx of people like this is difficult, but police crackdowns using tear gas, batons, throwing rocks and medical neglect on injured migrants, who were extremely weak after days without food, could worsen the consequences.

President Pedro Sánchez rushed to praise the actions of Moroccan police forces on Friday, when only five deaths had been officially reported, and erred in insisting on those praises on Saturday, when pictures showing the way in questioned where the operation took place and the subsequent treatment of the injured detainees. No one escapes the fact that for the first time – after the diplomatic crisis and later the agreement – the neighboring country has had the opportunity to demonstrate that it is meeting its obligation to protect its border and prevent a massive attack on the Spanish borders of Ceuta and Melilla. After the tense pulse experienced by Morocco, the government has managed to rebuild essential bilateral relations for Spain. But the Sánchez executive cannot ignore the manner in which the deal is being fulfilled when there are indications of a gross violation of human rights. The packages come at a price, but some cannot be paid for.

We are also facing a situation that will not stop repeating itself. The impact of climate change on crops in many countries and the disruption in grain supplies due to the war in Ukraine are putting millions of sub-Saharan citizens in a desperate situation that will no doubt increase migration flows to the north. Last week in EL PAÍS we published a warning from Brussels about massive migrations from North Africa due to a “catastrophic famine”. Friday’s tragedy must serve to demand approval of the transnational mechanisms necessary to prevent a recurrence.

Source elpais.com

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