2001 Photo Contest, People in the News, Stories, 1st prize

Matias Costa

Agence Vu

01 August, 2000

An immigrant crosses the border between Morocco and Spain. An estimated 500,000 people entered the European Union illegally in 2000. The short passage from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar to the Spanish coast was a frequently used route. Small, overladen open boats often sunk during the crossing; hundreds of people drowned in this way. Immigrants who relied on illicit traffickers had to pay up to US $3,000 to be smuggled in to Spain, often crowded into the backs of trucks. Spain tightened its immigration laws during the year. The authorities revealed that in two years they had arrested 70,000 illegal foreigners, but some estimates are that three quarters of the people who reach Spain are not detained.

About the photographer

Matias Costa

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