Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 6,932; Deaths Reach 211

Missing Migrants

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 6,932 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 38 days of 2019, a 12 per cent decrease from the 7,795 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through just over five weeks of the new year are at 211 individuals, compared with 391 deaths during the same period in 2018 (see chart 1).

So far in 2019, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 369 people (see chart below).

Most recently, the remains of an 18-year-old man from the Mexican state of Querétaro were retrieved by civil protection authorities on 6 February from the banks of the Río Bravo. He had been reported as missing in late January, when the remains of the two men he was travelling with were recovered from the river on 28 January. Two days earlier, the remains of an unidentified man had also been recovered from the banks of the river near Guardados de Arriba, in the municipality of Miguel Alemán.

Also in Mexico, the migrant shelter “La 72” reported that a 23-year-old Guatemalan man was shot and four others were injured by a criminal group when they were travelling on the road between El Ceibo and Tenosique. This incident occurred on 3 February near the town of Emiliano Zapata, in Mexico’s southern state of Tabasco.

In the Western Mediterranean, a boat with 45 people on board capsized on 6 February off the coast of Tangiers, Morocco. According to Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, three people drowned, but only one body has so far been recovered by the Moroccan Navy. The 42 survivors were brought back to Tangiers and three of them required emergency medical care. In the first five weeks of 2018, as many as 65 people are known to have died in waters between Morocco and Spain.

In North Africa, several deaths were recorded during the past week. On 5 February, two women and one man died, with 25 others injured, in a vehicle accident near the town of Driouech, in Morocco’s province of Nador. The NGO Alarm Phone Sahara reported that the deaths of four people were documented on the border between Morocco and Algeria, near the town of Oujda, between 28 January and 4 February. No other details regarding country of origin, sex or age of those who died were available.

In Europe, the body of a young man was recovered from the side of the RN94 road between Briançon and Montgenèvre in the early hours of 7 January. It is believed he had died of hypothermia after crossing the Italy-France border through the Alps. In Sarajevo, Bosnia, a man died in a fire in an abandoned house on 5 February. He had sought temporary shelter in the building during his migratory journey through the country.

As reported last week, on 2 February, a migrant boat sank off the coast of Marsh Harbour, Abaco Island, Bahamas. The Royal Bahamas Defence Force has reported that another body was recovered, bringing the death toll to 29.

There are also updates from the Colombian Navy about the shipwreck that occurred on the Colombia-Panama border that occurred on 28 January. Eight survivors, reported to be nationals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were rescued off the coast of Capurganá, municipality of Acandí, in Colombia’s northern province of Chocó. The bodies of 19 more people have been recovered; five remain missing.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

See chart 3.b