The Government has erected one of the highest sections of the new Melilla fence, a structure over ten meters high, made up of bars and metal plates, topped by a cylinder that prevents climbing. As confirmed by elDiario.es, this construction already rises along about 100 meters in the area between the border of Beni Enzar and the South Dike, and will extend through the “points of greatest vulnerability”, according to sources from the Ministry of Interior.
The Government’s promise to remove the concertinas on the fences of Ceuta and Melilla entails a profound reform of the current border framework, which includes raising the fence by 30% in some sections of the fences until reaching ten meters in height. Since its announcement, Interior has argued that its objective is to build a fence that is more “secure” but less “bloody” for those who try to cross it.
The ten-meter high “security structure” at the “most sensitive” points of both borders has a base made up of bars and metal plates, followed by an intermediate area of wire. In its upper part, the razor wire has been replaced by an “anti-shake” cylinder.
The rest of the border will continue to be made up of a double fence and will maintain the previous height of six meters. The novelty in these points is found, among other reforms, in the highest area of the fence closest to the Moroccan side. At this point, Interior has placed an “inverted comb”, a metallic structure with semicircular bars. The workers of the Transformación Agraria SA (TRAGSA) company are still immersed in the works that the Government plans to finish before the end of the year, with a budget of almost 18 million euros (8,366,333 euros will be allocated to Ceuta and 9,533,549 euros to Melilla).
The United Left MEPs Sira Rego and Manuel Pineda visited one of the six-meter-high sections on Wednesday during a visit to the autonomous city. “We are talking about a new fence that shields Melilla even more because it is higher. Migrants will stop tearing and mutilating themselves when jumping, but they are in danger of falling to the ground from a height of 10 meters, ”Rego said. “Anyone with a modicum of sensitivity can only feel shocked when they see the fence,” he added.
The withdrawal of the concertinas, installed during the government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in 2005, was Grande-Marlaska’s first promise at the head of the Interior. In 2018, the minister assured that the blades would be replaced by other types of “non-harmful” elements.
Beyond the promised elimination of this cutting material, the Government has dismantled the so-called “three-dimensional wire rope” from the Melilla fence. This is the “third fence” created in 2006 in the intermediate zone of the triple wire of Melilla.
Until its withdrawal in recent months, this area was made up of a braided system of steel cables without a logical structure, tied with posts of different heights. The Executive said then that the measure would delay the jump of migrants an average of 15 minutes because, he said, it would avoid the use of stairs and the placement of blankets to access the last gate, the one closest to Spain. In practice, its ineffectiveness in preventing jumps led to the cancellation of the installation of the same three-dimensional wire rope on the Ceuta fence.