Blog post

Publication details

Treacherous Hearts and Empty Spaces: Practices of Everyday Securitisation at the Spain/Morocco Border
in: Border Criminologies

Year: 2017
Link to the blog post:

Author(s) details

Daniel Fisher

Publication description

border controls, Border and Migration Control
"The border crossing point between Ceuta and Morocco at El Tarajal is a cacophony of car exhausts, car horns and the chatter of thousands of people attempting to cross the border on foot in the midday sun. Situated in northern Morocco, opposite the Rock of Gibraltar, the autonomous city is most famous for the metallic fence that separates Europe from the Global South. Though administered by Spain, the city depends economically on its Moroccan hinterland, so an ‘exemption’ was written into the Schengen Agreement allowing visa-less (day) access for Moroccan citizens from the neighbouring province. (...) Amidst the hustle and bustle of the border crossing point there operate also the gangs who, for a cost of roughly €4000, promise to smuggle a person across the border inside hidden compartments of their cars – often dangerously close to moving/hot components. Despite this option and the barely organised chaos of El Tarajal, most attempts at reaching Ceuta by those without the correct documentation occur either at the barbed double border fence or by patera (small rubber or wooden boats). Indeed, the pictures of bloodied migrants sat atop the barbed wire fences or wrapped in Red Cross blankets are now famous and re-circulate throughout the media and Twittersphere with regularity."