Barcelona, Spain — Spanish police said Wednesday that they had arrested two people responsible for the deaths of more than 20 migrants who died last month while trying to cross the Canary Islands.
Police detained trafficking suspects and boat captains carrying migrants in a statement and drifted for 13 days until a Spanish rescue team arrived on June 30 and found 29 survivors. He said he did.
Police believe that 52-60 people boarded the boat from the starting point of Dakhla, a coastal town on the territory of Western Sahara. Among the dead was a 5-year-old girl who died on a rescue helicopter on her way to a hospital on the Spanish islands.
Police investigations revealed that both the trafficker and the captain were among the rescued people. They were arrested on suspicion of murder and illegal immigrant gambling.
The difficulty of tracking small crafts produces different statistics, all of which are increasingly important for migrants fleeing poverty and violence hoping that a dangerous route from West Africa to the Canary Islands will reach Europe. It shows that it is an entrance.
More than 6,900 migrants have arrived in the archipelago so far this year, compared to 2,700 in the same period in 2020, according to the Spanish Ministry of Interior.
The number of deaths is also increasing.
The United Nations International Organization for Migration states that at least 250 migrants have died so far this year in an attempt to reach the Spanish archipelago. In 2020, the organization’s Missing Immigration Project recorded a peak of 749 deaths on the route, but received more reports of unidentified shipwrecks.
Kaminando Fronteras, a non-governmental organization that oversees migration from Africa to Spain, has killed or lost more than 2,000 people trying to reach Spain from Africa, with the majority (1,922) to the Canary Islands. He said he died on the Atlantic route. This exceeds the 1,852 deaths on the same route counted by aid groups throughout 2020.
“Last year was the worst year for the dead so far … but these numbers were the worst years we’ve seen since we started working in the field in 2007,” Kaminando said.・ Helena Maleno, the founder of Fronterrace, said.