Racism is at the base of migration policies through which the EU systematically avoids sea rescue of human beings trying to reach Europe through Italy, Malta, Spain or Greece, leaving countless people to drown or be returned to civil war, arbitrary detention and torture.
The Mediterranean is one of the deadliest routes taken by asylum seekers today, and one of the places where violations of rights at sea are more evident than ever. In 2019 more than seven hundred people lost their lives at sea, while some fifteen thousand arrived in Europe
Europe fears migration and considers it - without any evidence and without taking into account the use of cheap labor - a true "threat" to the continent, producing a real compulsion to protect borders. Instead of supporting a humanitarian response to the crisis, the Union approved last December a budget of 10 billion euros for the Frontex agency. The same agency that watches the boats in the Mediterranean with sophisticated aircraft, without any rescue capacity - or intention.
The European obsession and ineptitude with its border is not only pushing members of the Union to find illegal and unofficial solutions, such as the Maltese trawler flotilla, but it is also costing the EU a fortune, which could be used rather to receive with dignity to people fleeing from wars, misery and persecution.
The authorities present themselves as persistent defenders of universal and fundamental human rights, but they authorize practices of true institutional racism against human beings on the other side of their borders, turned into deadly ditches.
By Fernando Iturria