7 de julho de 2015

 Once, “Mare Nostrum” used to express the Roman conception of the Mediterranean as a common economic, cultural and political space. After a checkered history of imperialist ambitions, the phrase was most recently reinvented as the name of the Italian maritime rescue operation put in place after a shipwreck on 3 October 2013 had led to the death of 366 migrants, until its suspension in late 2014.

Prepared by Altai Consulting for IOM MENA Regional Office

Once, “Mare Nostrum” used to express the Roman conception of the Mediterranean as a common economic, cultural and political space. After a checkered history of imperialist ambitions, the phrase was most recently reinvented as the name of the Italian maritime rescue operation put in place after a shipwreck on 3 October 2013 had led to the death of 366 migrants, until its suspension in late 2014. From “our sea”, the Mediterranean has become a firm and fatal dividing line between “North” and “South”.

According to research by the International Organization for Migration (IOM),1 since the year 2000 close to 25,000 migrants have perished in the Mediterranean, making it the world’s deadliest border. At least 3,300 migrants died in the Mediterranean in 2014 – that is 9 individuals every day. In the first five months of 2015, the sea had already claimed more than 1,800 lives. At the same time, close to 80,000 migrants have arrived in Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta between January and May of this year.

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