Updated: Feb 13, 2022
Immigrants arrived in Malaga. Copyrights MANU PALMA
Boats have been reduced to 16 so far this year, by 49 in 2020
The profile of the migrant also changes
The boats have stopped shipping off the coast of Malaga. Now they are looking for other routes. Provisional data from the Government Sub-delegation in Malaga show that 16 boats with 178 migrants have arrived on the coast of the province in 2021 until July 20. In all of 2020, 49 boats arrived on the beaches of Malaga and 941 immigrants were registered there.
This means that after two thirds of the year, only one third of the boats registered during the past year have reached the Malaga coast. This statistic breaks with the data of the rest of the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, where until August 2021 42.3% of the boats that arrived in the same period of 2020 have arrived (670 in 2021 by 471 in 2020).
This is explained by several factors, according to Francisco José Guerrero, from the Andalusian Association for Human Rights (APDHA). The first of them is that the control in Morocco, coast of origin of the boats is greater. In addition, the Moroccan authorities have been acting more in the neutral zones between the two countries, when years ago after the sighting of a patera the rescues were usually made by the Spanish authorities. Not only is migration control being carried out in Morocco, but the European Union is acting before they reach the borders, with plans in sub-Saharan countries.
To this is added that the boats are taking other points of arrival, such as Almería, Granada, Murcia or the Balearic Islands, "which in addition to the Canary Islands are concentrating the migratory flow," says Guerrero. A sign of this is that the rescue ship María Zambrano is currently on the coasts of Eastern Andalusia instead of on the coasts of Malaga.
It is also a reliable example of this that the Malaga Emergency and Referral Reception Center (CAED) “only opens now to welcome immigrants from Granada or Almería, because the centers there are full and while immigrants are referred to others centers”, points out the migration expert.
Despite this, Guerrero does not promise to predict that the trend will continue like this, "the migratory flows are very volatile and depend on many factors, perhaps tomorrow a decision from Morocco will cause many boats to arrive again," he warns.