01 May 2009

April 2009

ROMA - April 2009: nine more victims along the borders of Europe. Six of them drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa. In March, the deaths in the Mediterranean sea had been 316, including 297 in the Channel of Sicily, between Libya, Tunisia and Italy. However it is difficult to compare these figures, since we have no idea of how many ghost shipwrecks happened each month, without any media covering. For sure, during the first four months of 2009, Fortress Europe documented the deaths of 339 refugees and emigrants in the Channel of Sicily. During the entire 2008, they were 642, while in 2007 they had been 556. The increase of deaths toll is not surprising, since the number of arrivals is also increasing. In the first four months of the year, about 6,300 people were intercepted off Lampedusa, that is to say the 75% more of the same period in 2008, when they were 3,600. Since 1994 at least 3,467 people were drowned in their attempt to cross the Channel of Sicily. While the victims surveyed along the EU’s borders were 13,771 since 1988.

Apart from the Channel of Sicily, three others people died in Spain and France. Two of them were found dead by the Spanish Coastguard in the waters of the Strait of Gibraltar. The body of the third one was found in the Channel Tunnel, in France, probably died after he fell from the train under which he was hidden trying to reach England.