Punishment to those responsible for murder in Melilla

By Flor Salgueiro

Friday, June 25, will be remembered, not for the beginning of summer on the morning after the Night of San Juan, but for the massacre and tragedy that occurred in Melilla, where it is estimated that 37 people have been killed while attempting to cross the border into Spain.

During the morning of June 25, some “2,000 people” tried to approach Melilla to jump the fence, according to “official” figures, 500 men managed to start entering Spanish territory. Of those 500, according to the Government Delegation, 133 managed to remain in the autonomous city. The rest have been contained and repressed by Moroccan security forces.

In addition to the people killed, hundreds were injured as a result of the abuse by the repression of the Moroccan security forces in cooperation with the Spanish forces in the city of Nador, while trying to cross the fence that separates it from neighboring Melilla.

This massacre and violation of human rights, adds to the brutal figure of more than 3,000 people who died during 2021 while trying to reach Europe by crossing the sea.

«Fortress EU», as a symbol of racist and anti-immigration policies

The Southern Border, represented, supported and assumed by Morocco, is the gateway and functions as the first example of “Fortress Europe”, in which some migrants are welcome and others are not. In this Europe, and in this Spain, policies of selection and exclusion of migrants are carried out, based on hierarchical criteria of oppression such as origin, nationality, gender and race. It is as a result of these events and the rejection of migrants from the countries of the so-called “global South” that these historical axes of oppression are more clearly visualized: exacerbated racism and colonialism serve, among other reasons, for the governments of Fortress EU to apply their national and community migration policies.

This Fortress Europe, under the pretext of its “community security”, violates the rights of migrants, and at the same time constantly fails to comply with its international human rights obligations.

The rapprochement between Morocco and Spain and their cooperation policies

Last Friday’s massacre was the first assault since Morocco obtained in March of this year, from the government of Pedro Sánchez, the letter in which the Spanish president tipped the balance in favor of the Moroccan autonomy proposal for Western Sahara to the detriment of the self-determination referendum that the Saharawi people have historically demanded.

An approach which also aims to strengthen the anti-immigration policies of Spain. In this context, Spain and Morocco “cooperate,” turning outsourcing into an indispensable tool for Morocco to adopt the role of gatekeeper and carry out the first migratory control through systematic brutality on its borders.

Without going any further, Pedro Sánchez declared on Friday “that there has been a violent attack on the territorial integrity of the country.” And, in this sense, he explained that the Moroccan gendarmerie “worked in coordination with the forces and bodies of the State to repel the violent assault.” After congratulating the Moroccan gendarmerie, his allies in the United We Can government have come out to criticize him, but their statements are nothing more than makeup on the face of an inhumane reality that is deepening more and more, with them inside the government.

Humanitarian crises, wars and famines

While in Europe the health and social crisis is deepening, as a consequence of two years of pandemic and an economic crisis that they want to make the working people pay, due to the debacle of the capitalist economy, an immigration crisis continues to develop at the borders. A daily tragedy in which many people lose their lives, trying to flee from hunger, misery or war.

In the Moroccan city of Nador, a border city with Melilla, its geographical limits are delimited on one side by a huge iron fence erected by Spain to prevent migrants from accessing its territory. And it is the neighbors who point out “those who tried to cross are people who don’t have food, they don’t have water, they don’t have anything, they have lost their fear. It is death or going to Spain.”

In this sense, in the Spanish State, the self-defined “progressive coalition government” of PSOE-UP acts in harmony with the European imperialist bloc. It strengthens its external shield using the Moroccan gendarme as an ally and deepens the repression in Ceuta and Melilla.

There are no first and second class citizens

Meanwhile, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) in Nador has requested that “the rapid burial of the deceased migrants not be carried out without the opening of a” global, rapid and serious investigation to determine responsibilities and deficiencies. From Caminando Fronteras, other NGOs present in the territories have warned of delays in the health care provided to people injured on the Alaouite side. “The victims of the Melilla tragedy agonized for hours under the cruel gaze of those who were supposed to help them and did not,” Helena Maleno, founder of the network, has denounced.

Dying when crossing borders must not be normalized, we have to fight to ensure that basic human, democratic and social rights be respected.

We demand the implementation of humanitarian measures and the reception of everyone with papers because “no person is illegal.” We repudiate the implementation of the discriminatory and anti-human “Fortress EU”. We will continue to support the struggles of migrants, denouncing the human rights violations that are repeated in the capitalist system and fighting for a world without borders, a socialist world.