Wide Angle

The Canary Islands, a new irregular migration route for Moroccans on Instagram

More than 1,000 irregular migrants have arrived in the Canary Islands archipelago (Spain) during the past two weeks. Moroccan Hazam Tarik documented on Instagram this crossing, considered much more risky than that of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Moroccan influencer Hamza Tarik and a group of Moroccans during an irregular trip to the Canary Islands. / Instagram
Estimated read time: 2'

A Moroccan «influencer» has shared unusual content on his social media. On his Instagram, he documented his irregular crossing to Spain, starting a new yet risky online trend.

Hamza Tarik, also known on Instagram as Patruck Official, shared with his 20,000 followers his irregular trip to the Canary Islands, El Espanol reports.

On October 13, he published the first video of his attempt to get to the islands. He was on a boat with twenty other people. «Here we are», they shouted at the camera, with each of them saying the name of the city they are coming from. 

«I hope God will help anyone with a good heart. As for haters, stay there», the Instagram user said. Hamza Tarik also posts photos with the other Moroccans taking the same boat.

The Canary Islands, a new route for irregular migrants

These photos and videos shared by the Moroccan influencer come as the Canary Islands have become a go-to route for irregular migrants, wishing to reach Spain during the pandemic. A massive arrival of boats onto the Spanish coast has been recently recorded.

«Over the past two weeks, the Canary Islands have welcomed 1,021 migrants and have already counted 8,102 others since the start of 2020, twice the number recorded in 2019», the same source added.

Those who accompanied Tarik Hazam were lucky, as they finally made it to the archipelago safe and sound, according to a second video shared by the influencer. «Thank God we have arrived in Spain», said Hazam in a video viewed more than 55,000 times.

Last year, a video of Moroccan taekwondo champion Anouar Boukharsa, having left Morocco for Spain in an irregular migration boat, went viral. Video blogs and posts shared by «Maghrebi emigrés» are the ones to be blamed for spreading appealing content about irregular migration. In their social media posts, they portray «Europe as clean, safe and filled with economic and social opportunities», concluded a 2019 study titled «Social media bridges North Africa’s divides to facilitate migration».

Smugglers also use the Canary Islands route as Fuerteventura, which is only a hundred kilometers away from the Moroccan coast. However, this distance does not prevent boats departing from cities such as Tarfaya and Agadir from risking the lives of the passengers taking this route.

In August, at least 50 migrants were killed when two boats wrecked off Dakhla and the shores of Nouadhibou, Mauritania. In February, around fifteen people were killed in a shipwreck off the Kingdom's coast after their boat, carrying 28 people on board, capsized.

Canary Islands' president wants to visit Morocco

This week and faced with the increase in the number of migrant arrival by sea from Morocco, the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, asked to go to Rabat as soon as possible to discuss the issue.

During his meeting with Moroccan consul Ahmed Moussa, he stressed that solutions must be found to respond to current issues, mainly related to immigration.

Be the first one to comment on our articles...