Moroccan migrant first to get over new border fence

A MOROCCAN migrant has been the first to make it over the new ‘inverted combs’ system of the border fence separating Spain’s enclave of Ceuta from the rest of North Africa.

The adult male is the first to get over the double border fence following several months without any successful jumps in the area.

Guardia Civil explained that he had used a ladder to get over the new metallic tube structures in the form of inverted combs with which the Interior Ministry replaced the previous wires with blades called concertinas. After that, he climbed the mesh fence, six metres high, located closer to Spanish soil.

He was caught by Guardia Civil officers controlling the 8.2 kilometre border fence between Morocco and Ceuta, which is officially Spanish territory although located in North Africa, once he had made it over the fence.

Publicly owned company Tragsa installed the new system a year ago in Ceuta and Melilla, as they were less dangerous than the cutting wires and blades which were formerly in place.

In area more susceptible to attempts by illegal immigrants to cross the fence and gain access to Spanish territory, changes also included heightening the double fence to 10 metres, with a new structure with bars, sheet medal and mesh, with the fence ending in the large metal cylinders which prevent climbing.

Irregular entries to Ceuta have fallen by 79.5 per cent this year compared to last year, according to the Interior Ministry, to 253, and 33.6 per cent by sea, to 400. In recent years, mass attempts to jump to fence, despite the danger of injury, had resulted in hundreds of illegal immigrants making it onto Spanish soil.

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Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.