Saturday, September 30

The 400 migrants rescued in Lanzarote will spend the night at the CATE in Arrecife, with capacity for half

Salvamento Marítimo has today rescued more than 400 people on the migratory route to the Canary Islands. All of them have come to Lanzarote from different parts of the African continent. Among them, Tan Tan and Sidi Ifni. Along the way, a seven-year-old girl lost her life. Her mother has reported upon arriving at the Onion Pier, in Arrecife, that her daughter sank in the ocean when the barge in which the two were traveling capsized. Both were linked by a handkerchief, which was released by the waves. A short time later, the Helimer de Salvamento helicopter managed to rescue eight people who were in the water.

An industrial warehouse and tents for 200 people, the Interior solution to recruit migrants arriving in Lanzarote

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One of them was a six-year-old boy who is in a critical condition and has had to be transferred to Gran Canaria urgently. The little boy was also traveling with his mother in the boat that overturned. “The woman arrived on the mainland with an anxiety crisis,” health sources have told this newsroom. The rest of the occupants of this precarious boat also showed signs of hypothermia.

Many of the people assisted this Friday had serious foot injuries. ”There is a type of chemical burn that is caused by the mixture of gasoline and salt water. The fuel used by this type of boat has such a toxic lead that it cannot even be sold in Europe,” add the same health sources.

A CATE with 200 seats

The Red Cross has confirmed to this newsroom that all the survivors have been referred to the Temporary Attention Center for Foreigners (CATE) in Arrecife. “Almost all of the people have gone to CATE and they are making an effort to try to enroll them as soon as possible. Tonight they all stay at the CATE”, they have pointed out from the NGO. Migrants can spend a maximum of 72 hours there, during which the agents of the National Police carry out the affiliation.

This resource was installed by the Ministry of the Interior in the Lanzarote capital in October 2021 and does not have sufficient capacity to accommodate the 432 people who have arrived on the island in the last few hours. According to the data offered by the portfolio of Fernando Grande-Marlaska at the time of the construction of the CATE, the resource has 200 places.

This newspaper has asked Interior if the migrants can be referred to other CATEs in the Archipelago. From the Ministry they have sent to the Government Delegation. From the Delegation they have responded that “all resources are being put into operation to speed up the referral procedure and immediate reviews are being carried out on the most vulnerable people.”

”It is mobile, capable of being quickly assembled and disassembled to be used elsewhere. It is part of the infrastructures put into operation since 2020, together with the Barranco Seco CATE and the next mobile CATE in Fuerteventura“, Interior explained then. The budget for the creation of this resource comes from an item of 13.5 million that the European Union granted to the Interior to reinforce police attention to the survivors of the Canarian route.

Until these tents were installed in Arrecife, people arriving in small boats and inflatable boats spent their first hours in a precarious industrial warehouse. There weren’t enough bathrooms or beds in it. The women, men and children housed there also had no access to showers.