It has been estimated that nearly 2,100 migrants have died trying to reach Spain in the first six months of this year.
The death toll is close to figures recorded for the entire of 2020, according to the non-governmental organisation Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders).
In a report published today, July 8, the organisation found that 2,087 people had died or disappeared at sea while trying to reach Spain in the first half of this year. The migrants were from 18 nations, mainly in West Africa but also from Bangladesh, Syria and Yemen.
The majority of the deaths (1,922) were because of shipwrecks en route to the Canary Islands, according to Info Migrants.
“It’s been a horrendous year,” Helena Maleno, an activist who leads the NGO, said at a news conference held to present the organisation’s report.
The NGO pointed out that the death toll is five times higher than those registered in the first six months of last year and the highest it has ever been since it began recording migrant deaths at sea 14 years ago.
The dangerous conditions on the notoriously dangerous Atlantic archipelago is part of the reason for the increase in deaths. Maleno also blamed this year’s increase on the use of inflatable boats to cross the route and inadequate cooperation between the rescue services of Spain and Morocco.
Tension has been building between the two countries since May when more than 10,000 people entered Ceuta from Morocco. “There is no coordination. Information is not flowing between the two states,” Maleno explained.
Maleno added that there is also a lack of rescue attempts to save boats even when the NGO raises an alarm.
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