European Union Undocumented Death Calendar

Wikipedia has an “On this day” section that features interesting tidbits of history. Following such example, I am starting my own “European Union Undocumented Death Calendar” featuring the people who died, on this day, because of the policies known as Fortress Europe.

Considering this is the same governing body (the EU) that loves to preach human rights and administer “justice” and impose sanctions or military interventions on those countries that fail to uphold said human rights policies, I think it is fair to note that, since the mid 90s, there have been 16,264 recorded deaths of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers because of EU policies. This figure, while most likely incomplete due to the difficulty of recording the deaths of people who are sometimes found drowned in the Mediterranean, or whose bodies are disposed of in gruesome manners, who have no personal IDs and whose bodies are sometimes lost due to inclement weather or due to the fact that they become fodder of sea predators, is the only trustworthy record we have.  

Since average Europeans are very vocal against the inhumane treatment of prisoners in the Guantanamo Bay detention center, I think it is important to highlight that these deaths of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers are the result of a similar process of dehumanization and removal of basic rights in the name of “safety” and “protection” of European borders. The end result is a group of vulnerable people from the Global South who are not afforded basic legal protections and even though they might be guilty of an administrative violation (i.e. being undocumented), they have less rights than a criminal, who is granted access to healthcare, legal counsel, humane detention conditions, etc.

In order to compile this daily calendar, I will follow the criteria of the Netherlands based NGO United which keeps a file for every person who has died due to these European Union policies. This criteria to determine who’s a victim of Fortress Europe involves deaths due to: border militarisation, asylum laws, conditions of accommodation, detention policy, deportations, external EU interventions or carrier sanctions.

Fortress Europe recorded deaths for July 13th:

  • 13/07/00 1 N.N. (man) unknown nationality, drowned near Bojador, Canary Islands (Spain) 
  • 13/07/00 13 N.N. bodies (men) unknown nationalities, reportedly drowned near Bojador, Canary Islands (Spain)
  • 13/07/01 1 N.N. (man) unknown nationality, drowned, body found on a beach in Tarifa (Spain)
  • 13/07/05 3 N.N. bodies, from Somalia, drowned, after their boat capsized off the coast of Turkey near Izmir
  • 13/07/11 1 N.N. (23 years old, man) from Cuba, stowaway, crushed to death, found in the wheel-bay of an Iberia passenger plane in Spain

Total 19 deaths on July 13th since 2000. Source.

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