Monday, November 28

Grande-Marlaska gives in and will show the images of the Melilla tragedy four months later

More than four months after the Melilla tragedy, the Minister of the Interior has agreed to show in the Congress of Deputies the images captured by the security cameras of the Melilla fence on June 24, when at least 23 people (37, according to local organizations) died in their attempt to reach the autonomous city from Morocco. After refusing to offer the recordings, requested ad nauseam by several parliamentary groups, Fernando Grande-Marlaska has relented after increased pressure stemming from the broadcast of a BBC documentary that contradicts the official version of events.

Initially, the Interior has agreed to show the videos recorded by the cameras on the Spanish side of the border only during the visit to Melilla scheduled by the Interior Commission next Monday, explain ministerial sources. The announcement, made public this Thursday, has caused some parliamentarians, such as Jon Iñarritu (Bildu), to ask the Ministry for more time to carefully view the hours of images recorded on the day of the tragedy and, finally, Grande-Marlaska has accepted. The images will also be projected in the parliamentary headquarters: “At the request of your honorable Members, it will also be possible to see it in Madrid in the Commission”, they confirm from the Ministry.

This coming Monday, the deputies of the Interior Commission of the Congress will travel on an official trip to Melilla. The table of that Commission unanimously approved the request of groups such as EH Bildu or United We Can to travel to the autonomous city. According to the agenda, the trip will include a visit to the border post and another to the Civil Guard headquarters of the autonomous city, where a first quick viewing of the images will take place.

months of opacity

Since the deaths in Melilla, the Executive has hardly given information about what happened, beyond supporting the work of “containment” of immigration by Morocco. Grande-Marlaska centered an appearance in the Interior Commission on the tragedy, however, she hardly provided new information about the events.

In another of the greatest tragedies of our borders, the one that occurred at the Tarajal breakwater in 2014 -when 14 people died in an attempt to swim in, answered by the Civil Guard with rubber balls and boats-, the Executive of the Popular Party, After a series of contradictory versions and attempts to manipulate the images, he published the videos of the security cameras of the Ceuta wire fence weeks after the events.

Grande-Marlaska’s positive response comes after the broadcast of the BBC documentary, which has reopened a major political problem in the department headed by Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska. Several parliamentary partners of the Executive are preparing a new request for an urgent appearance that could go ahead with the support of the PP. This Wednesday, the PP joined the demands of the videos of the security cameras of the border crossing and did not rule out supporting an investigation commission, which the Interior Minister seeks to avoid.

The Africa Eye program published the aforementioned documentary on Tuesday, which reconstructs what happened on June 23 at the border through the analysis and verification of previously published videos and testimonies from survivors, but the latest information offered by the British network points out the Spanish responsibility in the tragedy. The BBC claims to have had access to images, not published due to their crudeness, that would show the fall “of lifeless bodies from one side to another [de la alambrada], people who bleed and die, who apparently are not offered any assistance. The videos, cited but not released, would constitute new evidence against the official version, which has always argued that all the deaths took place on Moroccan soil.

From the Interior, they have categorically denied that Spanish or Moroccan agents returned dead and wounded bodies from Spain that day. “It is disappointing and surprising to say the least that very serious accusations are made without the support of any evidence. Absolutely no one, neither the Civil Guard, nor the Gendarmerie, nor the State Attorney General’s Office, nor the Ombudsman nor the Moroccan authorities maintain that the deaths took place in national territory”, stressed ministerial sources. While they denied it, they continued to refuse to offer the official images that could reveal what happened on the Spanish side of the border. Until now.

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