33.293 (The crossing)
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The Mediterranean Sea represents, in the minds of millions of people, the barrier between hunger and prosperity. Its waters are for them the frontier between abuses of all kinds and respect for fundamental rights. But this image is an idealisation, as thousands of migrants every year face not only the violence of an untamed sea, but also the greed, indolence, perversion, complicity and inefficiency of governments, authorities, mafias and gangs for whom human life only represents an economic benefit.
It is very difficult to imagine the level of desperation that someone must have to face this dangerous intercontinental journey, which is not only populated by incessant horrors along the different African routes from their countries of origin to the coasts, but also by the exclusion, exploitation and mistreatment to which those who are lucky enough to cross the waters alive are subjected.
An unthinkable number of people do not make it. Their journey ends - as does their life - in the unfathomable waters of the sea. From 1993 to 2019, the estimated number of drownings in the Mediterranean is 33,293. But this number has been steadily increasing and is certain to have grown as you read this brief commentary.