I’m publishing it in the hope that people decide to watch it — even though I know how difficult it is for non-US news to spread on this website (this is not an attack - just an observation).
Someone asked me on anon what’s happening in Sicily, so I found out this documentary from VICE that gives an overall idea of what is going on with the migrants and the war refugees coming from Africa and the Middle East. This is just a(n extra) scene from the 15 minutes long documentary, People Smuggling in Sicily: Europe or Die, which you can find here, showing the largest migrant reception center (which I pass by every time I visit my relatives), whereas most of the documentary was filmed in my hometown, Catania.
Only in 2015, more than 2000 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean from Libya or Egypt to Sicily, as the boats smugglers board them on are so unsafe they often sink in the middle of the sea, or they die suffocated because they keep tens of them inside the hold — even though migrants can pay up to 2000 euros for a ticket. The ones that arrive to Sicily - saved by the navy - are stuck in Sicily or in other parts of Italy because they have no ID or because they don’t have the money to travel elsewhere; at this point, smugglers take advantage of them again. Or, some migrants get roped in into the local mob. Many become homeless, some prostitutes or pickpockets, or local criminals. (”Italians refuse to help us. It messes with your head. We end up taking people’s phones, wallets, handbags, because we have nothing.”) What the head of the center says is true — Italy is going through a serious employment crisis, and it’s difficult for migrants to integrate into Italian society. Sicily, one of the poorest areas of Europe, currently risks “permanent underdevelopment.”
The largest shipwreck, this April, killed 900 people, with only 27 survivors. I couldn’t find the exact number of people who died since 2000. Some even say more than 20 000. There are a few exact numbers: around 2500 in 2015, almost 4000 in 2014. In 2013, more than 300 people died just in one shipwreck (which is remembered as “the tragedy of Lampedusa”), with about 150 survivors only; 41 of them were children, but only one was with his parents.
The cemetery of Palermo, the capital of Sicily, doesn’t have any more places for the bodies of the dead migrants. A person my mother knows found a human finger inside of an octupus while she was cutting it for lunch. The Mediterranean, right now, is a tomb.
This is a poster made by C.E.A.R, a Spanish nonprofit organisation, for its sensitization campaign #UErfanos to raise awareness about shipwrecks in the Mediterranean. The stars of the flag of Europe are replaced by 12 dead bodies.