A Moroccan woman has been arrested for attempting to smuggle a teenage migrant, who was curled up in a suitcase, across the border with Spain. The woman was arrested by the Spanish Civil Guard in Ceuta. Astonishing images have emerged showing the 19 year old migrant, from Gabon, coiled up inside a small silver suitcase.
It’s not the first time migrants have been smuggled over at the same point in suitcases. A four week old baby nearly suffocated after being smuggled in a sports back, while last year, an eight year old boy from the Ivory Coast was discovered in a suitcase.
The latest arrest was made at around the same time as more than a thousands sub-Saharan African migrants tried to get into Spain from Morocco by storming en mass up a border fence. Many made it to the top of the six metre high barbed wire structure, but were then lifted down by cranes.
The vast majority of the migrants were returned back to Morocco, although two people were allowed into Spain because they needed hospital treatment. During the incident, five Spanish police officers and 50 of their Moroccon counterparts were injured as migrants used rocks and metal bars to try to break down gates so they could get into Spain.
Spain’s two enclaves in Morocco are Ceuta and Melilla, and the bases are often targeted by desperate migrants, who either try to get over the barbed wire fences, or swim along the coastline until they reach Europe. Spain has frequently come under fire from human rights groups for turning migrants away immediately and sending them back into Morocco. They say that people should be able to try to claim asylum.
Earlier this month, in another incident, 400 migrants managed to scale the border fence at Ceuta. However, more commonly, migrants use Libya as a departure point to try to get over to Italy by boat. The risks involved are huge, however. This year, alsmost 5,000 migrants have died in the Mediterranean, trying to get into Europe, where they dreamed they would have better lives.