In a democratic state and the rule of law, public powers must ensure everyone’s right to physical and moral integrity is upheld, guaranteeing at all times that nobody is subjected to inhumane, degrading, abusive, arbitrary or discriminatory treatment which entails physical or moral violence. They must act according to the principles of coherence, opportunity and proportionality in the use of means at their disposal.
On 24 June 2022, at least forty people lost their lives on the border between Melilla and Morocco. Attempts at crossing “the fence” were treated, on a political level, as an act of violence and an aggressive move by those trying to reach Spanish soil. In contrast to this version, the verbal and audiovisual testimonies of what happened that day remain shocking.
Situated Voices 29 brings that dire event into focus without forgetting the preceding occurrences and the systemic violence which is still happening relentlessly at borders. The encounter seeks to foreground the voices of those people who escape suffering, injustice and cruelty, of lives on the brink, those who are politically and/or physically isolated outside European territory and are often forced to return to everything they escaped from.
The activity is carried out inside the framework of a series of actions which culminate on 24 June 2023 with a demonstration opposite the same Melilla fence, in coordination with multiple national collectives protesting under the slogans “Borders Kill” and “Melilla, Never Again!”
Paula Alcázar is a lawyer for Coordinadora de Barrios (Neighbourhood Coordinator), an organisation with twenty-five years’ experience working against social exclusion and made up of people and collectives which, from personal encounters and social involvement, look for solutions to problems of poverty and marginalisation.
Javier Baeza is a human rights advocate for the most vulnerable people (such as migrants), a parish priest in the San Carlos Borromeo Pastoral Centre in the neighbourhood of Entrevías and an activist in the Coordinadora de Barrios (Neighbourhood Coordinator) organisation.
Nicolás Castellanos is a journalist who is specialised in migration, cooperation and development, conducting research on European shores and on the African coastlines from which migrant people depart. At the present time he works with the Cadena SER radio station.
Mar Rodríguez is an activist in the collective Caravana Abriendo Fronteras (Border-Opening Caravan) and an activist in different fights for public healthcare. Over the past thirty years, she has been an advocate for anti-militarism, from the Madrid Conscientious Objection Movement (MOC), and civil disobedience and direct non-violent action.