They risk their lives to reach the other shore. A migrant was found alive on Friday in a bag containing toxic waste at the port of Melilla, a Spanish enclave on the northern coast of Morocco, the Spanish Civil Guard said on Monday.
This person was “inside an airtight plastic bag which contained fly ash from an incinerator, which is toxic material listed on the European list of toxic” waste, she said. in a press release.
The officer who discovered this migrant first saw “a person’s limp leg” and thought he was dead. Finally, this migrant was “extracted (from the bag) of ashes” and “regained consciousness”, continued the Civil Guard. A total of 41 migrants attempting to board boats to enter Spain “irregularly” were found on Friday aboard trucks and other vehicles present in the port.
Hidden among shards of bottles
Some were hidden in containers full of bottles and other glass objects intended for recycling, “with many shards”. In 2020, 41,861 migrants entered Spain illegally both by sea and land, a figure up 29% compared to 2019.
More than half of these migrants arrived in makeshift boats in the Canaries (23,023 people). This Spanish archipelago located off the African coast has experienced an eight-fold increase in the number of illegal migrants arriving last year. Melilla, she saw about 1,500 migrants arrive in 2020. In 2018, 300 migrants tried to cross the fence, one died, 20 others were injured.
Melilla, like the other Spanish enclave of Ceuta, has the European Union’s only land borders with Africa. These two enclaves are seen as prime entry points for those who want to enter Europe illegally, either by climbing the border fence or swimming along the coast.
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