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The Moroccan authorities have arrested a young man who allegedly was driving the ship that was wrecked on Monday in the Mediterranean, near the Moroccan city of Nador, leaving at least 34 people dead and missing, according to the NGO Caminando Fronteras.
In a statement from the Prefecture of Nador, the detainee, aged 18 and of Malian origin, was among the 31 people who were finally rescued after several hours at sea by the Moroccan troops during the operation, and is currently ” police disposition “.
The 60 migrants on board asked for help from Maritime Rescue, but their boat was in the Moroccan zone. Spanish rescue services say they offered their cooperation to the neighboring country, but received no response. “On several occasions, collaboration was offered to Morocco, they never responded,” they confirmed from the subsidiary of Fomento. Until more than 24 hours later, no one came to his aid. Caminando Fronteras has been denouncing “failures in coordination” between the Spanish and Moroccan authorities in terms of rescue for years. According to they indicate, it is not the first time that Spain warns Morocco of boats at risk but these are not rescued or end in tragedy.
The eleven corpses were found by a Moroccan Royal Navy ship, which moved them to the morgue of the Hassani Hospital, the main one in the city of Nador. The Nador prefecture assures that the investigations continue to “locate the travel organizer” who, according to the statements of those rescued, also has Malian nationality, the source added.
Walking Borders has questioned on several occasions the “criminalization” suffered by migrants trying to cross the border. In their last report, they documented that on at least three occasions “human trafficking crimes were attributed to people who did not even have to do with the handling of the boat.”
In the same document, they collected the testimony of a Malian community leader who explained that, sometimes, migrants do not use traffic networks to get to Spain, but instead organize to buy the precarious boats in which they try to cross the waters border. “There are no captains like you think, there are people who maybe rode in the sea sometime, and then the strongest row, and the others with a cube shrink the water,” he said.
Without counting on this last shipwreck, at least 364 people have died trying to cross the waters that separate Morocco and Spain, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Specialized NGOs and organizations such as UNHCR have repeatedly demanded the implementation of legal and safe access routes to prevent these people from being pushed to risk their lives at sea.
Source: El Diario