Around 23,000 people have arrived at the Canary Islands in cayucos in 2023. In October alone, 7,500 have landed (most of them on El Hierro, an island of 11,400 inhabitants), a figure that easily exceeds any previous record. Activity at sea does not stop. During this morning, Maritime Rescue has rescued another 233 people. Traffic on what is known as the ‘Canary Route’ skyrocketed in the summer, as a result of the political crisis in Senegal, which is causing thousands of people to flee the country, and this flow is expected to continue during the fall.
Fernando Grande-Marlaskaacting Minister of the Interior, postponed a meeting scheduled for today with Senegalese authorities to chair the meeting of the Immigration Coordination Authoritylocated in The Palmswhich was also attended by the president of the Canary Islands, Fernando Clavijoand the Government delegate on the islands, Anselmo Pestana. Afterwards, the minister announced that the Government is going to reinforce the fight against migration by deploying two planes from the Civil Guard, one in Senegal, “which will begin to work immediately on the forecast and shortcut of departures”, and another in the Canary Islands. The aircraft will be on the Senegalese coast to help both the authorities of this country and those of Mali to prevent “irregular departures” and, thereby, “continue saving” the lives of immigrants trying to reach the European Union through across the ocean.
Marlaska has pointed out that cooperation with the countries of origin and transit of migration is “the best way” to confront illegal immigration, and has highlighted that the work carried out has prevented the arrival of 12.500 people to Spain: “There are no magic solutions or shortcuts, but constant and sustained work over time.”
On the other hand, with regard to the island of El Hierro, which has been saturated over the last few weeks with constant arrivals of cayucos day after day, Marlaska has indicated that the Spaniards can feel “proud” that the institutions have “sufficient muscle” to face situations of “rebound” in the arrival of boats, and has stressed that the Interior is dedicating “all means” to confront a migratory wave caused by the political situation in the Sahel.