The bodies of at least 40 migrants were located this Sunday off the coast of southern Italy, in the Calabria region, after the precarious boat in which they were traveling sank, the Carabineros (militarized police) confirmed to EFE.
According to the source, It is not ruled out that the number of deaths is higherwhile it has been possible rescue about 50 survivors who managed to reach a beach in the town of Cutro (Crotone province), where they have been treated by emergency teams since early in the morning.
The survivors have explained to the authorities that the precarious fishing boat in which they were traveling broke in half and many of its passengers were shipwrecked, since the sea was rough.
The boat apparently hit some rocks before the migrants could call for help.
The bodies, including a newborn and several children, appeared on the tourist beach of Steccato and, according to the Carabinieri, are scattered over several kilometers.
While the relief work progresses, the authorities are questioning the survivors to find out the circumstances of the accident and the origin of the migrants, who according to the local press are mostly from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The tragedy occurs three days after the Italian Parliament approved a new migration decree on Thursday, drawn up by the government of the far-right Giorgia Meloni, which substantially modifies the relief operations of NGO ships.
He The Senate approved the text last Thursday, with 84 votes in favor and 61 against.a week after doing so by the Chamber of Deputies, which accelerated the process through a vote of confidence.
At the beginning of this year, the Italian Council of Ministers promulgated the decree with two points that substantially modify rescue activities: the obligation to request disembarkation immediately after a rescue and the assignment, by Italy, of distant ports
Thus, ships from organizations such as Doctors Without Borders and Open Arms have had to travel up to 4 and 5 days to disembark the rescued migrants safely.
The only vessel to which the initially assigned port was changed in these months was the Sea Eye 4, which was traveling with 109 migrants and two corpses after two rescue operations in the central Mediterranean and managed to dock in Naples (south), while since the first one to whom it was sent was about five days away from sailing.
The decree also establishes a regime of administrative sanctions that include “the administrative detention of the ship (against which an appeal is admitted) and, in case of recurrence of the prohibited conduct, its confiscation, preceded by the precautionary seizure”.
In addition, they stipulate penalties of 50,000 euros ($52,863) for ships and up to 10,000 euros ($10,573) for the captain and owner of the ship.
According to data from the Italian Executive, more than 10,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year through the central Mediterranean, tripling the number of arrivals in this same period of 2022, when the total number of people disembarked on the Italian coasts amounted to more than 100,000.
(with information from EFE)
The Italian Parliament approved the controversial maritime rescue law that hinders humanitarian aid in the Mediterranean
Migrants from the Open Arms landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa
Migrants rescued in the Mediterranean are still unable to disembark