Rabat - Moroccan and Spanish authorities have made a pact to prevent men and women from passing through Ceuta’s El Tajaral II crossing on the same day, citing security concerns.
Rabat – Moroccan and Spanish authorities have made a pact to prevent men and women from passing through Ceuta’s El Tajaral II crossing on the same day, citing security concerns.
Women will be allowed to cross on Mondays and Wednesdays, and men will be permitted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The decision was taken after Moroccan authorities asked the Ceuta government to help decrease pedestrian traffic at the border, reported local news Ceuta Actualidad. The Moroccan side sought to take pressure off of border police “for security reasons”, which were heightened after a “mule woman” was crushed to death by a stampede at border in April 2017.
By the time the border closed to vendors at 12:30 on Monday, around 1,500 so-called “mule women” had passed.
Known as “porteadoras” in Spain, these women transport contraband goods across the border, earning between MAD 50 and 100 a day.
A report published by the Association for Human Rights in Andalusia (APDHA) stated that “over 7,000 Moroccan women carry on their backs weights of 60 to 90 kilos [of products] from El Tarajal, Ceuta, to neighboring villages.”
APDHA member Cristina Fuentes claimed that “approximately half of Ceuta’s exports” are transported by mule women, and the University of Granada discovered that “this illegal activity is estimated at over EUR 400 million.”
Tarajal II remained closed for the majority of last week because of the difficulty of controlling the large number of people who daily tried to access Ceuta on foot.