A decade of violence at Spain’s forgotten African border shows why Europe’s new fences alone are bound to fail

Behind three towering fences, over razor wire, beyond the 10 foot-deep trench and past the police watchtowers lies Europe. Some attempt to scale the fence, risking serious injury, a beating or even death. Others protest. Recently, desperate Syrians have started to come here and shout at the border guards who they say work with local gangs to extort migrants and limit access to the other side, and with it the opportunity to request asylum. This is not Greece, Macedonia or Hungary, but Spain - and here the experience of a decade of tough border control has made clear the harsh reality the rest of the continent could be heading for as Europe tries to close its borders.

Migrants have been coming to Melilla - a 4.7-square-mile Spanish enclave in North Africa - for years with the hope of making it to Europe. Over the last decade, Spain has poured millions into ramping up border security in Melilla, which, along with the similarly tiny Ceuta, are the only two land borders between the European Union and Africa. Despite the investment, however, illegal attempts to cross the border remain frequent, as do deaths and claims of human rights abuses at the hands of police.

To read the rest of the story, follow this link.   http://blogs.elpais.com/trans-iberian/2015/11/a-decade-of-violence-at-spains-forgotten-african-border-shows-why-europes-new-fences-alone-are-bound.html


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