Bathers on Spain’s southern shore were witnesses on Wednesday as a group of dozens of African migrants came ashore in a motorized rubber launch, presumably from the Moroccan coast which lies just eight miles away. At approximately 3:47 p.m. local time, the migrants arrived at what is known locally as the Germans’ Beach, near the ancient city of Cadiz.
A cellphone video recorded them as they quickly descended from the craft and pushed aside bathers to run into a grove of pines on a hill nearby. The number of migrants entering Spain through Andalucia has spiked this year. In the first six months of 2017, nearby Malaga received 749 migrants: as many migrants as were seen in all of 2016.
According to the El Cano Royal Institute of Spain, the upsurge of migrants is due to better weather conditions this summer and to the fact that the routes to Europe from the shores of Libya has become more restricted. There are reports that all of the migrants who landed on Wednesday at the Germans Beach are male. Their whereabouts is currently unknown.
Police union chiefs claimed that Spain’s Civil Guard was powerless to stop the beach invasion because of a lack of resources. Only one officer was in the area at the time. The Wednesday incident came just hours after another 15 were rescued in the Mediterranean from boats within the eight mile stretch of water that separates Spain from Morocco.
The news comes as the bodies of 29 African refugees were found in shallow graves in Shabwa, Yemen. They are believed to have been pushed off a boat by a human trafficker. As many as 50 people may be victims in that incident. According to the UN, as many as 100 were forced on the boat in bad weather. Their bodies were buried by survivors of the storms. Some were as young as 16.
Also, nearly 200 sub-Saharan Africans burst through the barrier at Spain’s enclave in North Africa -- Ceuta -- and thus managed to reach Spanish soil. Ceuta has been in Spain’s control since the 1700s, and lies opposite Gibraltar. Video footage showed a border officer suffering a broken leg on Monday when he tried to trip one of the men sprinting through a glass door they had forced open. At least one dozen migrants suffered injuries as a result of rushing the border guards, but were met by the Red Cross and social workers. The migrants appeared to be exhausted but elated.