Is Tarifa the great tourist destination as they want us to believe?

Tarifa is considered one of the top tourist destination for wind sports.  It is location, the southerst area of Spain, it is between two seas, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic seas, it is ideal for kitesurfing. Both seas melt together, creating a wind that favours this kind of sport.

The southern area of Spain also has some of the most beautiful beaches in  Spain with incredible views of the Africa coast. It sounds like a perfect destination for tourists. Lovely beaches, hot weather most of the year, lovely food and people? Unfortunately, it is not.

Tarifa  is a fatal destination for migrants and in some occasions, floating bodies can be seen when one is sunbathing.

For example, on the 7.11.2017, two bodies were recovered from those waters in the same day as reported on the la voz digital that day (…) or one can also witness how a boat carrying migrants is washed up on the beach (…) as it happened only a few days ago.

Now, even if some boats still try to reach Europe, from the North of Africa, some migrants might jump from the boats in order to be rescued. Some do not even know how to swim and they die in their attempt, washed up on Tarifa or in other areas in the South of Spain.

Only a few days ago, in two days, 121 people were rescued from the sea. Eight of these people were 10 miles away from Tarifa (…)

Tarifa, main southest point, is an island called La Isla de la Paloma.

In this island, it is located an old military fortress that it is now a migration detention centre. One can walk until the main entrance and then, an iron door. Not entrance for pedestrians. It is read in somewhere. One can see how most people take pictures of this migration detention centre. Many are might not be aware of what happens there. Others they might not care.

CIE’s (Centros de Internamiento de Extranjeros), as migration detention  centres are called in Spain, the people detained are mainly waiting for deportation. In Tarifa’s CIE, the people detained were detected in the sea. There was an increase of sea arrivals to Tarifa and Almeria in 2017. Many of them came from Morocco, Algerie, Cote D’Ivoire and Guinea.

Arrivals by sea are met with automatic detention and many barriers to legal assistance. Detention, minimum for 72 hours is to provide humanitarian assistance and for identification.

CIE’s in Spain, are well-known for their poor and bad conditions. Many reports denounce its bad conditions such as in the Human Rights Watch article (…) Torture has been used, the rooms do not have minimal conditions and many detainees are not provided with the right legal assistance.

Minors are still detained, even when The Congress asked in 2017, to cease any detention of any minor in any CIE . However, in 2018, El País reported that 9 minor were detained in Tarifa (…)

It has now been reported that the CIE in Tarifa will be closed in three years. This might sound like good news for some. However, this is not the case.

The Spanish Government plans to create a new CIE in Algeciras, not far from Tarifa. The plans to build it up are already put on the table.

Some might think that the enormous campaign against the CIE in Tarifa has paid off from organisations such as the ADPHA (Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos De Andalucía), La Caravana Abriendo Fronteras, and some religious groups that grouped people to pray for its closure (…)

Unfortunately, their aim appeared to want to improve the living conditions. ADPHA also denounced the bad effects of the CIE in Tarifa to the environment and the lack of the use of the Isla of the Palomas for the public.

Tarifa will now recover the island of Las  Palomas as a public space. It will have back the plentiful island with those lovely beaches and views.

However, this will not stop people to try cross borders or to avoid any more deaths in that sea.

The anonymous people buried in the cemetery of Tarifa, Santo Cristo de las Animas, the number would continue to increase and more niches with the inscription, Inmigrante de Marruecos, Migrant from Morocco, without not name, will continue to take place.