Thursday, August 02, 2007


217 people died during July whilst attempting to reach the borders of Europe, according to a report by Fortress Europe: of these 79 were drowned in the Sicilian Channel and 98 en route for the Canaries; 34 died of dehydration in the Sahara, 3 youngsters were found asphyxiated in a lorry bound for Germany, 2 people were killed by police gunfire at the Moroccan frontier whilst attempting to board a boat and a girl was knocked down whilst running from police in Calais. Since the beginning of 2007 it is estimated that 666 would-be illegal immigrants into Europe have died en route and 9,317 since 1998. And those are only the ones we know about.

According to the same report, the number of people actually landing has decreased. This is largely due to the patrol boats that police the seas now. What is happening is that the desperate people use smaller and smaller boats, in the hope of avoiding being detected by radar and these boats are, of course, less safe. It also seems that the scafista [people trafficker] no longer travels with his "cargo" [and it has to be said that the Sicilian authorities have had some success in bringing these despicable criminals to justice]; these days it is usually one of the passengers who is found at the helm of the pathetic little boat.

Yesterday a dinghy carrying 44 clandestini was intercepted off Lampedusa: the boat was in serious difficulty and a passenger had called a relative for help via satellite phone, claiming that there were women and children on board in the hope of speeding up the rescue. Now the passengers are on Lampedusa where investigations are being carried out as to their nationality and embarcation port. Then they will probably be sent back. To go through all that - for what?


lady macleod said...

I know. I have read similar stories about Gibraltar, Mexico to the U.S., and Cuba to the U.S.

It is heartbreaking. I think it is the responsibility of all of us, as citizens of the world, to either make things better economically at home for these people or let them in. I don't know the answer, but it is a real and growing problem.

Well done on the post, I think we have to bring attention to this issue. There is so much that needs doing in the world that contributes to this problem.

Gledwood said...

That is so depressing ... makes me wonder though ... at how lucky I am to have been born with a British passport ... in so many ways ...

o! i did some research for you. on satellite radio to see whether you could get radio 4 from it ... i don't think you actually can ... you CAN get it via sky tv if you have that ..? or are willing to get it..?

there's a european radio satellite called hotbird that broadcasts everywhere. the radios are aparently just like ordinary digital radios and don't need a dish. i put some links about it at the bottom of my today's post ... just for you

because i got on the subject of digital radio in my daily blabberings ...

hope all's good with you


jmb said...

One can only imagine how terrible conditions are at their home places to risk these incredible journeys.
They seem to come in waves, I suppose as the traffickers get organized and then caught and new ones take their place.
It certainly is sad and I have no idea what the answer is.

Lee said...

You know, we never hear about these incidents in our media down here. Sad business, indeed!

Whispering Walls said...

Yes but we'll never know how many people did get through. I'd bet it's more.

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate for all concerned.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Lady M, I agree. It is heartbreaking. I just don't know what the answer is in the meantime. Also agree that the best way we can help is to make life in their home countries better economically - but that will take generations. Gleds, yes, we are so lucky in that. Thanks for the research. I do have Skt TV but when I enquired - because I understood you could get radio via it as well - I was told that you can't. Then I read it's to do with the licence fee. I'll come over and look at your post. Much appreciated. Jmb, yes, tragic. I don't know either. It is very distressing for the authorities, too, when they find the bodies. The Sicilian authorities do give these poor souls a "decent" burial but how awful for their families, never to know... Hi, Lee. In general the situation in the Canaries gets more media coverage than that in Sicily. Do you get to hear about that at all? Good point, WW. In Italy it is estimated that there are 500,000 , 600, 000 or 800, 000 illegals, depending on which organisation you believe. It's a hard country to "hide" in because of its bureaucracy and the need to carry a document at all times. The illegal immigrants get really exploited. Yes, Steve - just so sad for everyone.

Crushed said...

To come collect the scraps that fall from the Ivory towers of Fortress Europe. Because the lives they have led up till now have consisted of a series of horrors unthinkable even at the lowest, black economy level of our societies.

In our global society, the entire Western World is the new bourgouisie, the Third World the new lumpenproleteriat.

Some clever German guy wrote a very good book on the system that creates this, but don't tell James I told you that.
He's not a fan of the author.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Crushed, totally agree. Ok, I won't!


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