Sunday, 24 November 2013

It's the proof by nine that what appeared to be irregular immigration is also, at times, the trade in human beings. In the Centro de Estancia Temporal de Inmigrantes (CETI) [Centre for Temporary Residence of Immigrants] of Melilla, DNA tests were done in summer on a handful of sub-Saharan men and women who had recently arrived in the city by boat.

“There was behaviour that made the social workers supicious because the supposed parents didn't not take care of their children," explains Carlos Montero, director of CETI where around 1000 immigrants are currently being housed, double its capacity. The tests were negative. They were not their children.

Milagros Núñez, a manager for the Red Cross care program for immigrants, also indicates that her volunteers have, at times, observed, in their reception centres in Andalusia, that "there are mothers who don't remember how long they've been breastfeeding their child, when their first teeth came out and even they are disgusted by changing their nappy."

Those were were subjected to the proof of paternity in Melilla and for whom the test was negative had their children taken away from them and moved into centres for dependent children in the autonomous city. "This separation apparently didn't provoke any grief," says Montero.

“One fake parent even came forward and admitted that the son wasn't his," recalls Montero. Those who refused to undergo the genetic exam are watched even more closely by the staff of CETI.

How to these children, generally very small, come into the hands of these fake parents? "They tell us that they found them on the way to Melilla; that they were abandoned and they collected them," indicates Montero. “We don't know the truth nor do we know where the biological parents are," he continues. "There's a lot to investigate," he declares. It is believed they may have been robbed, "hired" or kidnapped.

Entering Melilla with a minor until now has been a guarantee of making the jump to the peninsula quickly - the average stay in CETI is one year - and even of not being expelled from Spain. "It was almost a passport," comments one police inspector who asks for his name not to be published.

"The phenomenon started in 2008 when the boats of sub-Saharans started to arrive. At first it was women alone, then pregnant and finally with children," recalls Milagros Núñez. Man also appear, supposedly the fathers of these children.

...During these years, dozens, perhaps hundreds, of children and the adults who accompany them have been victims of mafia networks which originally were Nigerian, but now they are also Cameroonian, Congolese, Guinean, etc.

In the first six months of the year, the Red Cross has identified 27 minors - one in every five - and 44 women - one in every six - who arrived irregularly in Spain by sea and may be have been the victims of trafficking.
Source: El País

Recall the incident a few months ago when some of the Africans threatened to throw "their" babies into the sea when the Spanish coast guard approached and tried to intercept them.

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