Melilla: a “well solved” massacre according to Spanish prime minister

by Lorraine Williamson
massacre

MADRID – NGOs speak of 27 dead in the massacre. However, according to the Moroccan and Spanish authorities the official count stands at 23 dead. Although that figure could rise as many were seriously injured in Friday’s massive attack on the Spanish border in Melilla. 

CTXT.es speaks in its editorial of at least thirty people who died early in the morning from Thursday to Friday in an attempt to jump the fence separating Nador in Morocco from Melilla in Spain. Although, it is not yet clear how they died. Therefore, Spanish and Moroccan NGOs have demanded an investigation. However, images of the injured and prisoners piled up on a vacant lot surrounded by police agents tell a lot. 

Inhumane 

On the Spanish side, images have also emerged of violent and illegal “pushbacks” and of beatings dealt with the few migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who have managed to cross the border by Moroccan police. NGOs, including Amnesty International, denounce the inhumanity, disregard for life, and complicity of the respective security forces or their criminal responsibility. 

Cold words from Spanish Prime Minister 

The numbers and images are indeed shocking. According to many reactions on social media and from the involved NGOs, the same applies to the statements of President Pedro Sánchez. He praised the Moroccan police for their “extraordinary performance” and described the situation as “well resolved”. He didn’t say a word about the victims or their families: said nothing about an investigation; showed little to no mourning for the loss of life. CTXT.es writes: “The violence of the images is coldly absorbed in this administrative description (a “well-resolved operation”). An operation that dehumanises and turns the hundreds of people seeking a better life in Europe into a plague that has been defeated”. 

Pedro Sánchez’s insensitive statements, and the underlying policies, are the result of the recently improved relations between Spain and Morocco. The prime minister wants to appease the Moroccan authorities. As a result, Morocco is once again helping to defend the Spanish borders, regardless of resources needed or any deaths. 

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Attack on fences because they are there 

140 people died in twenty-six years at the Berlin Wall. According to the organisation Caminando Fronteras, at least 37 people died in one day on the fence in Melilla that Aznar had erected and Zapatero had a barbed wire attached to it. In the year 2021 alone, nearly 2,000 people died on the so-called “southern frontier”, by sea and by land. CTXT.es: “People have to ‘attack’ fences because there are fences as a result of the Spanish immigration policy agreed with Europe”. 

Demonstrations against border police violence 

On Sunday, demonstrations were held in Madrid and Barcelona against “the murders in Melilla”. Participants expressed their outrage at the disproportionate violence against the migrants by the Spanish and Moroccan authorities. The organisations that have called for the protests across Spain are denouncing the current immigration policy. They say it is “deadly”. 

“Black Lives Matter” 

In the protest, participants carried banners with slogans such as “Paper for all”, “Punishment for the killers of the immigrants”, “Black lives matter”, “No one is illegal”, “Morocco and Spain, the murderous gendarmes of Fortress Europe” and “Regulate now”. 

Minute of silence 

After several manifestos were read, those present at the demonstration lay down on the floor in an attempt to copy one of the videos circulating in the media in recent days. Here you can see dozens of migrants under the watchful eye of the Moroccan police. A minute’s silence was held afterward in memory of the dead. 

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