Tragedy on the High Seas
Late in July, 78 Eritrean immigrants board a rubber raft in Tripoli, Libya, and set sail toward Italy. After six days, the motor quits and they quickly run out of provisions.
Some 23 days later, on August 20, they are intercepted by the Italian Guardia di Finanza about 7.5 miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa. The immigrants report having run into at least ten fishing boats during their ordeal, only one of which stopped to give them food and water.
Of the 78 aboard at the beginning of the trip, only 5 are still alive when they are found by the Guardia di Finanza. The others had died and their bodies had been thrown into the sea.
Press Release by Italian Minister of the Interior, Roberto Maroni, architect of the new “Security Package” that makes immigration a crime: “Seventy-Three Illegal Immigrants Evade Arrest.”