Report reconstructing the tragedy on 6 February 2014 and compiling witness accounts

Today, Ca-minando Fronteras published its report on the tragedy on 6 February 2014, which aims to reconstruct the events and compile witness accounts.

The report presents the stories of survivors and victims and reconstructs the tragedy as reliably as possible, supporting other investigations that are being carried out by the authorities and civil society organisations.

It contains accounts from the people who attempted to reach Tarajal Beach on 6 February 2014. Their personal details have been omitted but can be supplied upon request from the judicial authorities if they are needed to clarify the events that took place.

The report is not intended to determine individual liability, but instead to recount the stories we have been told and to identify the victims.

Read the report here:

Español: Informe Tarajal Marzo – 2014 -SN–2

Francés: Informe Tarajal Francés Marzo – 2014 -SN- copia

Beyond Borders

They say so themselves: this is a war. Ndeubi Marie used this vocabulary as she called for justice for her son Larios, who was killed in the “battle” at Tarajal on 6 February 2014. Still deeply traumatised, her only wish was to see where Larios’s remains lay and take his ashes back home so that she could organise a decent funeral for him.

The growing militarisation of the Spanish borders is given names and faces in the report ‘Beyond Borders’, whose main strength lies in its focus on first-hand statements from victims. As the researchers at Ca-minando Fronteras explain, their work is based on the idea that “people on the move are the active subjects”. Unlike the usual narratives surrounding migration on the European side of the border, which view migrants solely through the lens of stereotypes relating to “victimisation and objectification” or criminalise them directly, this report gives a voice to the people suffering through this ignominious era.

Drawing on data from September 2015 to December 2016, the report paints a picture of the people attempting to enter Europe via the southern border with Spain or finding themselves blocked by the border. The migrant people who recount their odyssey in these pages come from 15 African countries and told their stories in a dozen places where they have waited and suffered for days, if not years: the woods surrounding Nador, Bel Younech, Fnideq, Boukhalef, Mesnana, and many more.

Life on the Necrofrontier

At this very moment, from Central America to the Mediterranean, tens, hundreds, thousands of people are trying to cross a border. They travel with their children on their backs, their drive for life and their determination to find new reasons to be hopeful.

Meanwhile, the deadly apparatus of necrocapitalism rolls into action to capture, enslave and transform them into merchandise.

This report by Ca-minando Fronteras not only unveils the humanitarian crisis and human rights violations occurring at the western Euro-African border and many other borders around the world, it also demonstrates how the dynamics of death and despoliation underpinning the increasingly voracious form of capitalism we are currently experiencing are distilled and entrenched in the imposition, control and expansion of borders.

The collusion between European governments and corporate power (both legal and illegal) to supplement the millions of euros made in profit from controlling migrant people is also apparent at the borders. As the report shows, an entire industry based on violence and death profits from monitoring, arresting, imprisoning, deporting, trafficking, enslaving and even rescuing and supporting those who attempt to cross borders.

At the borders, it becomes clear that states have abandoned their duty to guarantee human rights. Here, the law is merely a tool to legitimise racism and patriarchal structures and colonial power continues to operate, dividing humankind into worthy people and bodies that may be exploited, discarded, violated and killed to protect the interests of capital.

Borders strip migrant people of their rights and leave them helpless so that they can be exploited by capital at no cost. When profit is the priority and controlling and violating migrant people’s lives is an endless source of wealth and power, human rights are little more than a superfluity or obstacle, regardless of all the treaties signed and agreements reached at the United Nations.

At the borders, neoliberalism continues apace, externalising, privatising and cutting funds for public services. What happens here spreads across every land, government and institution. The rights stripped from migrant people are the same as those gradually removed from the rest of the population. There is no limit to the greed of necrocapitalism, nor does it respect any pact to guarantee a minimum level of social justice.

At the borders, the weakening of democracy and the descent into authoritarianism are all too apparent. This report by Ca-minando Fronteras clearly explains how the power of migrant people to speak out and defend themselves from injustice is disregarded and negated, showing how border policy is based on restricting, criminalising, threatening and attacking the people and organisations who seek to defend the rights of migrant communities: “…criminalisation has grown rapidly in recent years as the economic interests of the companies investing in border control have increased… The normalisation of the idea that border control takes precedence over the human rights of certain groups of people has also served to justify persecution and violence against people who defend human rights…”.

The use of the legal system to make false accusations against activists to restrict their right to defend human rights is increasingly common among governments that boast of a solid democracy and rule of law. As documented in different parts of the world, the securitisation that is imposed at the borders with violence and impunity has been used to repress social protest and avoid complaints of human rights violations.

These conditions are challenged by the resistance and determination of migrant people and communities and the organisations and associations that support them. To migrate as a person who is poor, female, black, trans or indigenous, or without papers and the authorisation and acceptance of those in power, is to violate the status quo and defy necrocapitalism. The inalienable right to free movement, the determination to seek better living conditions and the struggle for freedom are stronger than any violent border.

This report reveals the wisdom of the bodies that resist and bear the seeds of hope, of those that know to flee violence to protect themselves and of those that work together to build invisible shields to preserve life and dignity. These pages contain a detailed, devastating analysis of the situation by the migrant people who are so often silenced, stigmatised, infantilised and portrayed as victims, as well as of the migration policies, institutional racism and colonial dynamics that affect them. The voices of migrant women in particular are showcased, as they explain their strategies of resistance and the ways in which violence is exerted over their bodies and lives as a powerful mechanism of social control and fear.

“Migrant people and their families are the bedrock of resistance to necropower”: they are the legitimate spokespeople for their own experiences and are aware of the solutions and approaches required to tackle multiple forms of violence. They are human rights defenders who speak out on behalf of those who have gone missing or died at sea, constituting a global movement that has exposed the impunity, collusion and inhumanity of governments and criminal organisations in many parts of the world. Overcoming indescribable pain, with the full weight of the system against them, they seek to obtain justice, dignify memory and demand narratives that expose the perpetrators instead of the victims.

Working alongside them are people, platforms, groups and organisations that support them with respect, recognition and mutual care. They have built networks of life to counter the prevailing culture of individualism and xenophobia: to warn of boats in distress, to support families whose loved ones are dead or missing, to humanise migrant bodies and lives and to condemn a system that is not only destroying lives but is also undermining the more noble, generous values developed over the course of human history.
This report is a living testimony of the importance of the work of Ca-minando Fronteras and the migrant communities that it supports in saving lives and calling for the system to be radically overhauled. Their work recognises migrant people as political subjects and centres their voices, wisdom and vision, lending far greater meaning to the quest to prioritise care and the protection of life above all else.

Those of us who have been migrants and our loved ones who have migrated are alive today thanks to the care we received during our experiences of transit and mobility. May we never forget this and may the collective experience imprinted on the memory of our ancestors serve as a source of strength to help us bring an end to the deadly policies that seek to deprive us of hope.

Marusia López, member of Just Associates (JASS) and the Iniciativa Mesoamericana para Defensoras de Derechos Humanos.

SOS: Larisa is missing

After several days with no news, Estelle began to worry about what had happened to her sister. She travelled from Switzerland to Algeciras, fearing the worst: Larisa had fallen victim to the negligence of the rescue services, which had failed to come to her rescue.

Little Samuel

Few have heard of Samuel, a four-year-old boy from Congo whose body was washed up on the beach in Barbate (Cádiz). Several days later, his mother’s body was found hundreds of kilometres away on an Algerian beach. His father was able to travel from Congo to bury them.

Mbene’s body

Mbene’s brother was able to confirm his sister’s death when her body washed up on the Spanish coast. Mbene had gone missing while attempting to cross the Strait of Gibraltar. 


Spain and Morocco’s deadly immigration agreement

UPDATE: Forty victims confirmed. These figures are not final and may continue to rise. At the time of publication, 29 victims had been confirmed.

The tragic events at the border between Melilla and Nador in Morocco on 24 June 2022 are a violent reminder of the failings of security-focused migration policies. The 27 deaths and hundreds of wounded people, including migrants and Moroccan police officers, are the terrible outcome of European policy to externalise EU borders with the collusion of a country from the Global South, Morocco. The deaths of these young Africans at the gates of ‘Fortress Europe’ alert us to the deadly nature of the partnership on security and immigration between Morocco and Spain.

The conditions that paved the way for the tragedy on Friday 24 June had been brewing for several weeks. Mass detentions, raids on camps and forced displacement of migrant communities in Nador and the surrounding region foreshadowed the incident. The renewal of the agreement on migration control between Morocco and Spain in March 2022 has led to a proliferation of coordinated action between the two countries.  

This action is accompanied by human rights violations targeting migrant people in the north (Nador, Tétouan and Tangier) and in Laayoune and Dakhla. The tragic incident is the direct result of a plan to exert pressure on refugees.

For more than a year and a half, migrants in Nador have seen their access to medicine and healthcare denied, their camps set on fire, their belongings plundered, their sparse food supplies destroyed and the little drinking water available in the camps confiscated.  

These punitive operations have triggered spiralling violence on both sides. While this violence is reprehensible regardless of its source, it reminds us of the systematic violence suffered by migrant communities in Nador for years at the hands of Spanish and Moroccan law enforcement agencies. These practices have been condemned on numerous occasions by national and regional institutions and by the UN.

In response to this latest tragedy at the borders and given the large number of victims, which sadly looks set to rise, the signatories to this statement would like to express the following points:

  • We send our deepest condolences to the families of the victims from the migrant community and the police force.
  • We condemn the lack of prompt treatment for the wounded migrants, which increased the number of victims. We demand that all those hospitalised as a result of this tragedy receive appropriate, high-quality care.
  • We demand that the Moroccan authorities identify the victims and return their remains to their families by working with migrant communities.
  • We demand the immediate opening of a judicial investigation by Morocco, Spain and the international institutions to clarify the events leading up to this human tragedy.
  • We demand an end to the criminal policies funded by the European Union and its numerous accomplices, states, international institutions and civil society organisations that subcontract these criminal policies.
  • We call on the diplomatic representatives of African countries in Morocco to take full responsibility for protecting their citizens instead of remaining complicit with the policies in place.
  • We call on human rights and migrant rights organisations and movements to mobilise at this critical time, when the right to life is in greater jeopardy than ever.

25 June 2022, Rabat.

This statement is open to new signatories. Please send the name of your organisation to