“Desperation Fuel Trips of Migrants to Spain,” by Raphael Minder and Jim Yardley for the New York Times:
The southern tip of Spain is barely nine miles from the coast of Morocco, a distance so tantalizingly close that African migrants trying to reach Europe can see the Continent from the Moroccan shoreline.
To actually reach Europe is not so simple, yet they come anyway.
For months now, a rising number of migrants have been daring the waters of the Mediterranean. And the Spanish police and boat captains say many asylum seekers have become so desperate that they are trying to reach Europe on flimsy rubber dinghies. So many migrants are now traveling by dinghies that the price for a modest one can reach $680 in Morocco, compared with only $109 in Spain.
“Some people will clearly risk death to reach Europe,” said Israel Díaz Aragón, who captains one of the boats of Spain’s maritime rescue services. “It has been a very busy summer, because we’re now also rescuing Africans who not only cross in a toy boat but haven’t even spent money on buying proper oars.”…