Santa Muerte == San la Muerte

Reading trough my dead migrants rss feeds i ran into a new blog post about san la muerte today. this time it is a short blog post about the Santa Muerte cult that is thriving in Mexico and among Mexican migrants (this is why the blog post got caught in my ‘dead migrants’ filter) in the US. From what i can tell it does look like the Mexican version of this cult is much less intresting (but more ceremonial) than the variant existing in Argentina and Paraguay that i wrote about back in 2006. Time m…

Exceptional display of compassion...

… in todays Guardian: the last two paragraphs of an article which describes the death of two Tunisian men who stowed away on a german cargo ship traveling from sfax in tunesia to ayr in scotland actually treat the two deceased as human beings (plus the entire article does not label them as ‘illegal immigrants’ even once): Scott [the Conservative(!) MSP for Ayr] said: “This is tragic news, that these two men who appear to have stowed away, lost their lives in such desperate, lonely and sad circum…

If lives are in immediate danger, then lethal force is permissible. If not, it is not....

Since about a year i have been coming across reports of sub-saharan migrants getting shot by Egyptian border police when attempting to enter Israel from egypt. So far i have refrained from listing them as part of the noborder.org dead count because Israel is not really Europe (although they participate in the UEFA cup and the Eurovision song contest). Since the beginning of 2008 these incidents seem to have increased in frequency as noted by Amnesty International (UK): On 19 February Egyptian se…

2007 most deadly year yet

So 2007 is coming to an end and it is time to draw up the balance. when it comes to migrants who have died trying to reach Europe, 2007 has been an exceptional bad year even though the powers that be seem to think otherwise. Back in august the IHT quoted spanish and italian officials that proudly proclaimed that the number of arrivals at their shores had been down from the numbers for the same period in 2007: The deadly flow of flimsy boats crammed with migrants heading north across the Mediterr…

The myth of invasion

Just finished reading a fairly intresting reserach paper by Hein de Haas of the International Migration Institute in Oxford that deals with the ‘The myth of invasion – Irregular migration from West Africa to the Maghreb and the European Union‘. In the paper de Haas attempts to show that immigration to Europe by western African migrants crossing the Mediteranian or Atlantic is fairly small both when compared to migration of western africans to North African Countries and compared to other ways of…

Kaafila (liquid Europe and solid sea revisited)

So over the last three weeks i have been watching ‘kaafila‘ which bills itself as a movie based on the ‘global issue of illegal migration’. It took me 3 weeks to watch because (a) it is a Bollywood movie (and thus runs for three plus hours) and (b) because it is so incredibly bad that i could not muster the courage to watch bits that were longer than 15 minutes. Matter of fact it is so bad that that the songs (those ridiculous dancing/singing scenes that are required to interrupt Bollywood produ…

Tunisian sailors arrested for saving illegal immigrants

So the Italians and the Spanish are claiming that this year there are much less immigrants trying to enter Europe via their shores, islands and outposts on the african mainland than last year. while this may be true this does neither mean that less people are dying on the Atlantic or in the Mediterranean while trying to get to Europe nor is it something that these governments should be particularly proud of. Looks like the italian authorities have just managed find themselves another way of ‘pro…

Drowning season...

Summer is approaching and that means a seasonal increase in African migrants who try to reach Lampedusa, Sicily or Malta from the coasts of Libya and Tunisia. As in the last couple of years lots of them manage to reach these island outposts that have come to be the most accessible edges of the European Union and lots of them don’t. An sometimes people are deliberately left hanging in between these two options for a while: Over the weekend 27 migrants spent a day at sea holding on to buoys around…

Mapping dead migrants

Since December 2002 i have been collecting press reports about migrants who have died trying to reach Europe for the noborder website. At the time of writing this the list has grown to 179 incidents with a total of 2009 reported fatalities and an even higher number of people missing who most likely have died as well. It is also safe to assume that the majority of such cases never gets reported in the press at all (according to spanish immigration officials about 6000 African migrants have died o…