Two more bodies found from shipwreck in Calabria | Italy

Two more bodies were found this Sunday on a beach in Calabria, southern Italy, two weeks after the sinking of a precarious boat with migrants off the beach of Stecatto de Cutro. The number of fatalities thus rises to 79, with 24 people still missing.

The bodies of a man and a child were found on the coast of Praialonga, a few kilometers north of the place where the shipwreck took place. Another child was found floating near the beach, according to the newspaper. The Republic.

Another 24 migrants remain missing, at a time when the Mediterranean is being the scene of a wave of crossings of illegal migrants from North Africa to Europe, especially to Italy.

On Saturday, the Italian Coast Guard announced that it had rescued more than 1,300 migrants who were in precarious boats or adrift in the central Mediterranean, less than two weeks after the deadly shipwreck off the country’s southern coast.

The Italian Justice opened an investigation into the tragedy, mainly to try to explain the late arrival of help.

Criticized anti-immigration program

The shipwreck shocked Italy and generated strong criticism of the far-right government of Giorgia Meloni, elected on the basis of a political program in which it also supports an anti-immigration line.

Italy’s Coast Guard and Navy on Friday sent several rescue ships to help three boats carrying hundreds of migrants who were spotted in the central Mediterranean, one of the most dangerous migratory routes in the world.

On Saturday, around 3:00 am local time (2:00 am in Lisbon), 487 migrants were rescued and disembarked safe and sound in Crotone, after being removed from precarious boats that threatened to sink. Several coastguard videos released on Friday showed some of them on the deck of a large fishing boat rocking in rough seas.

Another rescue operation, in which 500 migrants were rescued aboard a Coast Guard vessel, is ending, according to the same source.

On Thursday, at the end of a meeting of the Council of Ministers, held in southern Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni reaffirmed the Government’s determination to fight illegal immigration and smugglers.

The tragedy sparked protests in Italy

Since taking office in October 2022, the far-right majority executive has multiplied obstacles to the operations of humanitarian ships in the Mediterranean and has become involved in a standoff with European partners to obtain support and greater solidarity in the reception of migrants.

At the meeting, the Council of Ministers approved a new decree that increases penalties for human traffickers and creates a new crime punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years (was five years) for criminals responsible for operations that resulted in the death or injury of migrants.

According to the Italian Ministry of the Interior, since January 1 of this year, 17,592 migrants have landed in Italy, a number almost three times more than the 5,995 who landed in the same period of 2022. In all, the number of arrivals of migrants by the Mediterranean route Central has increased by 116% in January and February compared to 2022, according to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).

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