Thursday, December 7

They find the body of a person who tried to swim across the border in the Bidasoa River

The Gipuzkoa Civil Guard found the lifeless body of a young black migrant between 20 and 25 years old this Saturday morning while trying to swim across the border in the Bidasoa river, at the height of the Behobia international bridge, as reported by the Government Delegation in the Basque Country. The corpse showed no signs of violence and the Civil Guard will take charge of the proceedings to identify him.

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As confirmed by sources from the Security Department of the Basque Government to this newspaper, the Ertzaintza has received a notice from the French Police and several patrols from the Irún police station have come to cordon off the area. The French firefighters have been the ones who have been in charge of removing the body from the water, these same sources point out.

This is the fifth person to die in less than a year trying to swim across the Bidasoa River. For almost five years, the border between Spain and France has been an invisible wall to prevent the passage of hundreds of young people, mostly from Africa, who try to cross it every day, usually on foot, but also by swimming, route very dangerous due to the strong currents and cold waters of the Bidasoa River.

In addition to the people who have died trying to cross the river, the director of Zehar Errefuxatuekin, Arantza Chacón, recalled at an event held on Thursday for World Refugee Day that in the last year, one person committed suicide in Irun and others three more were run over by a train in the south of France, after having crossed the border from Euskadi. “The migratory routes in this area are increasingly dangerous. In the case of Ukraine, it has been clearly seen that when there is political will, refugees can be welcomed and their protection can be guaranteed. Never before had it been applied in this way despite other conflicts such as Syria or Afghanistan, among others. The majority of people who arrive in the Basque Country requesting international protection go through an obstacle course that makes their incorporation into society enormously difficult, firstly because the international protection procedures are cumbersome, but also because most of the responses are denied”, he criticized. she.

Through a Twitter message, the Government delegate in the Basque Country, Denis Itxaso, has described what happened as “a new human drama in Bidasoa”. “Migrants who are looking for a home, a place to develop a life, and meet death on a border within Europe. We aspire to safe, legal and orderly migratory flows”, he has indicated.