Although the numbers hide the personal stories of those who risk their lives at sea in search of a future far from their countries, they also offer a measure of the desperation that is at the origin of these dangerous voyages. So far this month alone, an average of 550 people a day – in some cases up to 1,000 in just 24 hours – crammed into precarious boats.
These figures mean that in October all historical immigration statistics in the archipelago have been exceeded, including those of the cayucos crisis of 2006, according to data provided by the island Government. that year 31,678 citizens from Africa arrived in Spanish territory via this Atlantic route, the highest figure since records exist.
Unlike previous crises, this time the majority of arrivals are registered in The iron, which is particularly suffering from the strong rebound. Of the 21,500 immigrants who have entered the community throughout 2023, more than 6,200 have done so through this island – which represents more than half of its population census of 11,154 inhabitants – and, of them, a total of 2,650 in just 12 days.
The president of the Government of the Canary Islands places the origin of this crisis in “the political conflict in Senegal, where all the young people are leaving”, in the drought and the famine derived, among other factors, from the war in Ukraine, “which has meant that not so much grain is reaching Africa.” “All these indicators, together with the fact that at this time of the year the sea is very calm, have caused what we knew was going to happen, especially when the European Union’s controls are being strengthened in the upper part of the Mediterranean,” he explains. Fernando Clavijo in conversation with EL MUNDO.
In order to respond to this problem, it has requested a single command in the central Executive, since up to six ministries have powers in immigration matters. It has also required that Spain request in Brussels that the Frontex -European Border and Coast Guard Agency- and an equitable distribution of the burdens generated by this phenomenon to alleviate the pressure on regions that border other continents.