Human rights must always come before border control policies.

On the eve of a new EU migration agreement, it is essential to remember the impact of necropolitics on border control and externalisation. The Melilla massacre is a clear example of practices that result in serious human rights violations for people on the move.

Last June marked the first anniversary of one of the most visible and terrible massacres to have taken place at European borders. We were in Melilla, remembering the massacre on 27 June 2022.

The political practices of externalisation had a lethal impact on many people’s lives: 77 missing victims and at least 40 confirmed deaths. Hundreds of young people live today with physical and mental scars from the violence they suffered, and families suffer daily torture for the death and disappearance of their loved ones.

Unfortunately, impunity in the face of border violence has become established and is allowing European states to continue to move towards policies that will increase human rights violations at borders.

The European Union is meeting in Granada with migratory postulates to reinforce externalisation and its agreements with third countries towards greater militarisation of border areas. These proposals directly attack the right to asylum and put the criminalisation of migrant defenders on the agenda.

We know that even more difficult times will come so, today, we also want to remember that a movement of people, families and organisations will continue to defend life every day, weaving networks of resistance like those generated on 24J in the city of Melilla.

We encourage you to watch the video summary of the 24J event. Ir will help us to understand where necropolitics is taking us and enhance our ability to combat violence.

Desalambre Award from to the best documentation work for the report “Monitoring the right to the life in the Euro-African Western Border” by Ca-Minando Fronteras

On Thursday, 16 February 2023, the IV Desalambre Awards gala was held in Madrid. These awards, organised by, recognise the work of activists, organisations and journalists committed to defending human rights. The work of Ca-Minando Fronteras was awarded in the category of best documentation work for the report “Monitoring the right to life on the Euro-African Western Border”.

This report carried out within the framework of our Human Rights Observatory since 2015, is considered the most reliable source for counting the number of people killed and missing on the way to Europe, especially on the maritime routes. During the awards ceremony, the head of the Desalambre section at, Gabriela Sánchez, highlighted the high quality of the data provided by the group, which has become the best reference for the media when it comes to reporting on the tragedies and violations of rights occurring at the border.

Our colleagues Helena Maleno, Lucas Vaquero and Erika Guilabert accepted the award, thanking everyone who made it possible to compile such valuable information. In our speech, we had words for the families who do not give up in the search for their loved ones; the communities on the move who show us the reality of life on the frontiers of death; the victims themselves, whose memory inspires our struggle; and the compañeras who have been part of our network at some point over the last 20 years.

Thank you to all of them and to all of you who are always there. This award is also yours.

Watch the video of the award ceremony and Helena Maleno’s full speech.

If you want to know the rest of the winners, you can see the news on

Missing: 47 migrant men who disappeared on the Algerian route

On 8 November 2022, two boats set off from Boumerdès (Algeria) for Cabrera in the Balearic Islands. One of them departed at 07:00 (UTC) with 26 Algerian men on board. The other carried 21 migrant men (12 Algerians and nine sub-Saharan Africans).

Several weeks later, a community leader informed us that both boats had gone missing; we immediately passed the information on to Salvamento Marítimo in the Balearic Islands. The rescue services informed us that they had already received the alert and explained the action that had been taken: a passive search for the vessel, a simulation to try to identify the areas where it might be and an alert issued to other boats currently in the area. At that time, the boat had still not been found but they continued to alert nearby vessels. Four weeks have now passed since the boat set off from the Algerian coast.

We continue to search for the two boats but no further information has yet become available. As part of the Right to Life area of our work, we call for greater effort and coordination to search for migrant people who go missing at the border.

Are you looking for a relative or a friend who has gone missing while attempting to migrate? If so, you can contact us here.

STATEMENT: Police violence at the border continues to cause deaths in Morocco

In response to the death of a young migrant woman at a beach in Akhfennir following an operation by Moroccan police forces.

According to witnesses, on Monday 12 September, a young migrant woman died of gunshot wounds to the chest as the Moroccan police attempted to stop the boat that she and other migrant people were about to board to cross to Spain from entering the water. She was part of a group of 35 people from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa, who were preparing to board a vessel on a beach located between Akhfennir and Tarfaya in Morocco.

When the authorities reached the site, they launched a violent operation to prevent the boat from departing and used real firearms against the migrant people waiting to board.

The young woman who died was not the only victim of this police violence. Several others from the group were admitted to hospital, including three young Moroccan men in a very serious condition. One of them, who is in intensive care, was shot in the back. Two young people were hit by a car as they tried to flee the site of the attack.

In light of the incident, the signatories to this statement would like to emphasise the following points:

  • The use of firearms against unarmed civilians points once again to the exponential rise in the use of force by the law enforcement agencies in their operations at the borders, where migrant people are viewed as a threat rather than as subjects of care and rights.
  • The absence of mechanisms to monitor and supervise police operations perpetuates the impunity surrounding the use of force against communities on the move, denying victims the right to reparation for the harm they have suffered and leaving them helpless against attacks on their physical, moral and psychological integrity.
  • The externalisation of border control to the Kingdom of Morocco by the European Union and the Spanish State, which was recently endorsed with 500 million euros from the EU budget (an increase of 44.5% on the previous year), continues to exacerbate the extreme vulnerability experienced by migrant people in these regions and systematically violates their fundamental right to life.

After the tragic deaths at the border fence in Melilla, we cannot continue to accept that human rights are conditional upon economic partnerships between countries.

Rest in peace. Truth, justice and reparation for the victims.

September 13, 2022.

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

Ca-minando Fronteras

Asociación Apoyo

CIEs no Madrid

Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Iltre Colegio de Abogados de Baleares

Coordinadora de Barrios

Asociación Karibu

CP San Carlos Borromeo

Solidary Wheels

Asociación Elin

Mundo en Movimiento

Red Solidaria de Acogida

Balears Acollim


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