“I have learned with sorrow the news of the migrant tragedies in Texas and Melilla. Let us pray together for these brothers of ours who died while pursuing the hope of a better life; and for us, that the Lord will open our hearts and these misfortunes will never happen again.”
Prayers and changes in lifestyles invoked Pope Francis as he pointed out to our consciences two tragedies that have occurred in recent days: in America – on the border between Mexico and Texas – and closer to us, in Melilla, on the border between Morocco and Spain. In the first case the media speak of massacre, in the second of carnage. For us, it is the ‘usual inhumanity’ enacted by people (in Texas) and institutions (in Melilla) in defence of the ‘Western socio-economic fortress’, which violently rejects those who pursue the dream of a more just and dignified life.
In Texas, inside an abandoned truck, which had become a coffin for about fifty people who had entered ‘illegally’ from Mexico, the migrants were crammed in extreme conditions, without water or air. The van was discovered by agents of the Homeland Security Investigation, an agency specialised in human trafficking cases. The driver of the van, who abandoned it after discovering the lifeless bodies inside, disappeared. South Texas has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings. Migrants travel in vehicles through Border Patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the nearest large city, and from there disperse into the United States.
The tragedy in Melilla -Spanish enclave on African soil- happened last Friday: at dawn about two thousand sub-Saharans approached the triple fence separating the Moroccan town Nador from its Spanish twin, Melilla, in an attempt to reach Europe. The police in Rabat tried to stop them and it was chaos. As a result of the clashes and the crush, dozens of migrants and 2 two Moroccan police officers died. “The toll, moreover, could rise further because NGOs were not allowed access and therefore the actual number of victims cannot be verified.”
Human rights organisations focus on the brutal rejection reaction of the Rabat police force.
OUR POSITION IS INCREASINGLY CLEAR:
This is also why in Italy we support the initiative of the Coordinamento Nazionale Comunità di Accoglienza (CNCA): we unanimously call for a new European pact that allows people to arrive on the continent through safe channels, as is being experimented for Ukrainian refugees.
“The very serious events that took place in Melilla tragically highlight once again the inadequacy and lack of humanity and justice that characterise European migration policy. Raising walls in the face of those who migrate in search of freedom and a decent hope of life can only produce violations of the law and rights and tragedies such as those that continually occur in the Mediterranean, at the gates of Europe.”