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Fernando Grande-Marlaska highlights cooperation with countries of origin and transit as best way to combat mafias trafficking people to Canary Islands

Thursday 13 February 2020

At the meeting, the Spanish minister said that the immigration policy based on prevention and cooperation with third countries "has demonstrated its effectiveness" when combating the mafias engaged in people trafficking.

"Thanks to the close ties maintained by Spain with the countries of origin and transit of illegal immigration, 2019 saw a 50% decrease in the total number of arrivals to Spain, a decrease that is being maintained in 2020", he said.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska said he is aware of the upturn in arrivals to the Canary Islands in recent months, adding that there is a need to "place greater emphasis on the measures and actions adopted on the Atlantic seaboard" to help "improve the management of migratory flows".

In this regard, the minister highlighted the work being done on prevention in the countries of origin every day, "which is the best way to prevent the suffering and, above all, deaths at sea".

He highlighted the Spanish collaboration with both the public authorities and State law enforcement agencies in Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal, Republic of Guinea, Niger, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Mali.

Fernando Grande-Marlaska said that "the fight against trafficking networks and people trafficking" is one of the priority objectives. "The most vulnerable component in illegal immigration is the migrant. Protecting their rights, starting with the right to life, requires the toughest possible action against these networks", he said.

The meeting, which took place at the regional government headquarters in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, was also attended by the Vice-President of the Regional Government of the Canary Islands, Román Rodríguez; the Central Government Representative in the region, Anselmo Pestana; the State Secretary for Migration, Hana Jalloul; the Senior Chief of Police in the Canary Islands, José María Moreno; and the Guardia Civil General for the Canary Islands, Juan Miguel Arribas.

Various councillors from the Regional Government of the Canary Islands, representatives from the various local councils, members of the Canary Islands Federation of Municipalities and organisations engaged in protecting migrants, such as CEAR, Cruz Roja, Cruz Blanca and Cáritas, also attended the meeting.

Coordination centre

The Spanish minister also visited the Canary Islands Regional Coordination Centre, a benchmark centre in the control of migratory flows, where he was told about the day-to-day work carried out by this body.

The minister's schedule in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria also included visits to the Regional Police Headquarters and the Guardia Civil Headquarters.

The Minister for Home Affairs recognised and expressed his support for the work done by the State security forces in the control of migratory flows.

Non official translation