ITALY. Lampedusa. 2011. Friday, 08 july 2011, a boat coming from Libya was spotted and caught by the coast guards (Costiera Guardia) 35 miles away from Lampedusa. They escorted it till the port where coast-guards, police, Protezione Civile, ambulances, buses, Red Cross and other NGOs were expecting the boat and the migrants. There were 158 persons, including 22 women and babies, and came from several african countries such as Somalie, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Niger, Chad, Eritrea, and Togo. Only some are political refugees. Most of them left their native countries for economic reasons and were trapped in Libya. They all, without any distinction of their countries of origins, would be very quickly sent away from Lampedusa to a different part of Italy, where they would be able to stay for six months. Few of them will go back to their country. They would continue their epic trip to France, Holland, Germany, Danmark or Sweden. The whole operation of disembarkation, counting of the migrants, and transfer into buses is extremely well organized and quickly done. A person in charge will tell the photographer: “Have you seen how fast we operate from their boat to the buses? Then, tourists don’t see them.”

© Patrick Zachmann

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