05 May 2006

May 2006

Ninety people lost their lives along the european frontiers in one month. 44 of them were travelling to Europe hidden inside a truck, and were died after it had an accident in Turkey. Actually it's the worst tragedy of this kind after the 58 dead in Dover six years ago

The silence and the oblivion. It was the 20th of May 2006 when on the highway near the town of Osmaniye, in the Adana region in southern Turkey, a truck rammed a trailer truck from behind near a toll booth. The driver and a man accompanying him are died and the goods are lost: 44 people from Afghanistan and Bangladesh, stowaways in the truck dreaming for Europe, will never reach their goal. Their bodies will be deported to their countries of origin, whenever it will be possible to identify them and only if someone can pay for their last travel. But if they have no documents with them and nobody know them, and nobody ask for them, they will be buried somewhere in Turkey, without any funeral, without any name. And maybe after a couple of years, their father, and mother, and brothers, and wife and, if there are, their sons, will ask themselves what could be happened to their dear missing. And then it will be the oblivion. An oblivion backed firstly by the medias. Actually this road accident is the worst of the last years all over Europe and Mediterranean, after the 58 dead in Dover in 2000. But the international press agencies don’t seemed to pay attention to it. Associated press and France press dedicated few rows to the accident. The most important English newspaper in Greece liquidated it with 6 rows in the “Balkan briefs” section. Italian first news agency Ansa keeps silent about it, and the same silence falls down all over the newspapers.

May ninety times. Actually this is the same kind of silence hiding the names of the 90 people who died during the last month of May – they are at least 5.341 since 1988 - in the attempt to overcome the European frontiers without a regular entry visa. Their death finds place only in the briefs sections of European and Mediterranean newspaper. During the month of May except the 44 died in Turkey, others 46 people lost their lives in the sea. On the 3rd of May, 1 man drowned and 1 was missing after a little boat sank off Turkish coast of Kusadasi while trying to reach neighbouring greek island of Samos. Ten days later, on the 13th of May, a boat went adrift for three months were rescued off Barbados island, in Caribbean. Left from Cape Verde and directed in Spain, aboard were found 11 bodies and the documents of 26 missing men. On the 18th of May it is Tunisia time: a boat went adrift were found off Sfax coasts, aboard 7 passengers died.

If maths it's not an opinion. The numbers are clear enough, but the borders emergency has been going on for the last twenty years. Since 1988 it has been reported the death of 5.341 people along the european frontiers, including 2.353 bodies missing in the Mediterranean sea. A tragedy concentrated particularly on the route from Turkey to Greece, from Libya and Tunisia to Italy and Malta, from Albania to Italy and from Morocco, Algeria and Mauritania to Spain. 1.676 people died in the Sicily channel, including 686 missing. In the Aegean sea, 398 people died, including 182 missing, and 2.200 lost their lives trying to reach Spain, 1.423 of whom were missing. Than there are 16 people who were shot dead by spanish and moroccan police along the fence at the border of spanish enclaves in Morocco, Ceuta and Melilla. Actually it is not only the sea which kills people. Hidden in trucks or in containers loaded on cargo vessels directed to the european ports, 257 people were found dead and 19 people died under the trains in the Channel tunnel. The mine-fields along the turkish greek border killed 77 people. At least 133 persons died dehydrated trying to cross the Sahara towards Libya and 33 people froze to death in their tracks through the icy mountains at the border in Turkey, Greece and Slovakia, then 51 persons drowned crossing rivers delimiting the frontier between Croatia and Bosnia; Turkey and Greece; Slovakia and Austria; Slovenia and Italy.