Spain launches Mediterranean patrol operation

SPAIN’S mission to patrol borders in the Mediterranean, Operation Indalo 2015, was launched today, June 1, in Malaga port by the Director General Guardia Civil Arsenio Fernández de Mesa.

Operation Indalo, like operations Triton and Poseidon in the Mediterranean, has been put in place by Frontex, the European Union’s border control body, with the two-fold objective of assisting the rescue migrants at sea, and strengthening EU external borders.

The director general said: “Irregular immigration is a human drama that must be answered, taking into account the need to prevent illegal entry but also the need to save lives.” Op Indalo sees more Spanish resources being put into action under the coordination of Frontex in order to address the worsening migrant situation.

Op Indalo will cover the southern coast of Spain from Algeciras to Murcia, and will be assisted by Belgium, Iceland, Portugal, Finland, Italy, France, Romania and Switzerland. The ship Rio Segura and a specially adapted air sea rescue aircraft will initially form the Spanish contingent under the coordination of the EU, and financed by the European Borders Agency.

Fernández also stated: “Operation Indalo, whose ninth edition begins now, stands out as a clear case of success. For example, we have increased figures from 2011 where 2,600 immigrants and 12 tonnes of drugs were found, to exceeding 4,000 immigrants and over 31 tonnes of drugs discovered in 2014.”

Also in attendance at the ceremony was Jorge Salvador Hernández Mollar, representing the Government of Malaga, Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre Prados, Lieutenant General Ops Command, Civil Guard, Pablo Martin Alonso, head of Fiscal and Borders, Juan Luis Perez Martin, and the Colonel in Chief of Maritime Service Juan Varga Aldana.

The Guardia Civil will also participate during the summer months in Operation Triton, implemented by the EU to combat illegal immigration and strengthening border security on the Italian coast.

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