Friday, January 03, 2003

Five illegal immigrants drowned yesterday when their launch sank off Tarifa, in the Straits of Gibraltar. The boat was filled with some 45 Moroccan illegals when it ran aground on some rocks. Normally what happens is that the "agent" or "trafficker" or "coyote" or whatever you want to call him dumps the immigrants off fairly near the coast and they swim to shore--if they can. A lot of people drown like this; more than 70 bodies were found in 2002, and more than that number are likely to have died trying to cross the Straits. Another group was found in the vicinity, this one of 17 people, some African blacks, some Asians, and a Moroccan. This is not Spain's fault, in the sense that Spain has to have some kind of immigration policy; you can't just let everybody in all at once. It's a damn shame, though, that these poor, desperate people die trying to come to the Promised Land, and it makes me furious that rotten corrupt kleptocracies run the places these people are willing to risk their lives to leave. I also wouldn't mind taking the "coyotes" out and shooting them without further ado, but I guess we can't do that.

Two of those bastards got caught a couple of weeks back, one of whom (a Palestinian) had three warrants out for his arrest; the other one was Moroccan. They got locked up in the Málaga jail along with three other North Africans, apparently merely illegal aliens awaiting deportation. The Palestinian, who had a record as long as John Hol--well, pretty long, set the cell on fire last Friday. He and his fellow exploiter of immigrants were among the four to die, and the fifth is in critical condition. Four others, also illegals, are hospitalized. The Málaga calabozo had no plan in case of fire and the ventilation system was counterproductive, since as well as sucking smoke out it let fresh oxygen in, thereby fanning the flames. The victims died of burns, not of smoke inhalation. This kind of preventable tragedy--I wouldn't wish that way to die even on a trafficker of immigrants--is, unfortunately, not unusual here in Spain, the Country Without Safety Precautions. Slogan: "We Laugh at Death".

Top Ten Ways to Die in Spain:

10. Get burned up in a jail cell
9. Get run over by a moron local cop
8. Have a construction crane fall on your head
7. Try to save fourteen pesetas by buying unbottled "olive oil"; get poisoned
6. Fall off the Sagrada Familia
5. Get burned up in some disco with no emergency exit or worse, the emergency exit locked
4. Get flattened by the Euromed express train at an unmarked grade crossing
3. Get blown up because your neighbor has inadvertently turned a butane tank into a bomb while trying to hold an urban barbecue
2. Have a huge rock fall on your head off the façade of an officially recognized historic building while walking along the Paseo de Gràcia
And the winner is....
1. Get thrown into Barcelona Harbor by disco security guards!

All of these forms of shuffling off this mortal coil have been tried in Spain. They all worked.

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