Initially, local authorities said that “about 17 bodies” were found by a sailboat “west of Cabrera Island.” Later, the same sources reported on a “preliminary balance,” which states that “three people were saved and 11 bodies recovered.”
The authorities of the archipelago, which together with the Canary Islands is one of the areas of Spanish territory that registers the largest number of irregular migrants arriving by sea, have not yet provided many details about the situation reported today, and they have not yet confirmed whether migrants are dying.
The influx of migrants has increased in recent months, many of them from Algeria, towards the Balearic Islands or southeastern Spain.
Last week, Monday through Friday, about 300 people were rescued off the Balearic Islands.
Despite tightening controls in the Strait of Gibraltar, located between southern Spain and northern Morocco and which establishes a link between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean, the flow on the so-called “harragas” migration route, a name in Arabic that is used by the number of assignments of irregular migrants, leaving Algeria is increasing, according to local authorities and various non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
In mid-September, the bodies of eight migrants who reportedly fled Algeria or Morocco, including a child and three women, were found by Spanish authorities on the beaches of the province of Almeria in the southeastern part of the peninsula.
A pregnant Algerian woman and her five children were rescued in the province of Alicante last week.
Several NGOs supporting migrants on the east and south coasts of Spain have reported an increase in the number of women and minors along the migration route in recent months.
For many of these migrants, Spain is viewed as a border crossing point, as their ultimate goal is often to reach France.
At least 13,320 migrants arrived in irregular sea routes to mainland Spain or the Balearic Islands in the first nine months of this year, up 19% (2,104 more arrivals) compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data. from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.
In the same months, another 13,118 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands (the so-called West African route crossing the Atlantic Ocean and the west coast of Africa), more than double the number recorded in the same period last year (6,124).
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2021 will be “the deadliest year on migration to Spain,” with at least 1,025 people killed or missing while trying to cross mainland Spain, the Canary Islands or the Balearic archipelagos. …
Spain, along with Greece, Italy, Malta or Cyprus, is one of the “advanced” countries in terms of the arrival of illegal migrants in Europe.