• L’administration #Biden annonce discrètement qu’elle va financer une section du mur à la frontière avec le #Mexique

    « Construire un mur massif sur toute la frontière sud n’est pas une solution politique sérieuse », avait proclamé Joe Biden lors de son accession à la présidence des Etats-Unis. Son administration a pourtant discrètement annoncé jeudi 5 octobre qu’elle comptait ajouter une nouvelle section au mur frontalier avec le Mexique pour tenter de limiter les arrivées de migrants, reprenant à son compte une mesure phare et controversée de l’ancien président Donald Trump.

    Cette décision a valu à Joe Biden d’être accusé de #volte-face, lui qui avait promis le jour de son entrée en fonction, en janvier 2021, que le contribuable ne payerait plus pour la construction d’un mur. Le démocrate de 80 ans, candidat à sa réélection, a assuré qu’il ne « pouvait pas interrompre » le #financement engagé par son prédécesseur, faute d’avoir pu convaincre le Congrès d’employer ces fonds pour d’autres mesures. Le même jour, la Maison Blanche a fait part de la reprise de vols directs d’expulsion vers le Venezuela pour les immigrés en situation irrégulière, interrompus depuis des années.

    Le ministre de la sécurité intérieure, Alejandro Mayorkas, a expliqué qu’une nouvelle portion de mur serait érigée dans la vallée du #Rio_Grande, à la frontière avec le Mexique. « Il existe actuellement un besoin aigu et immédiat de construire des barrières physiques et des routes à proximité de la frontière des Etats-Unis afin d’empêcher les entrées illégales », a-t-il déclaré dans un avis officiel publié par le registre fédéral des Etats-Unis. Plus de 245 000 tentatives d’entrées illégales ont été enregistrées sur une dizaine de mois jusqu’au début d’août, selon l’administration.

    Le ministre a ensuite assuré sur le réseau social X (ex-Twitter) que des passages de l’avis officiel avaient été « sortis de leur contexte » et a affirmé : « Il n’y a pas de nouvelle politique concernant le mur à la frontière. Nous avons toujours dit clairement qu’un mur n’était pas une solution. »

    Au Mexique, le président Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, qui rencontre jeudi le chef de la diplomatie américaine, Antony Blinken, a jugé qu’il s’agissait d’un « pas en arrière ». « Cette autorisation pour la construction du mur est un pas en arrière parce qu’elle ne résout pas le problème, nous devons nous attaquer aux causes » de l’immigration illégale, a réagi le président mexicain.

    Des fonds approuvés sous la présidence de Donald Trump

    « L’argent était prévu pour le mur frontalier. J’ai essayé de convaincre [les républicains au Congrès] d’allouer les fonds à autre chose, de les rediriger. Ils n’ont pas voulu », s’est défendu Joe Biden. « En attendant, il n’est pas possible légalement d’utiliser cet argent pour autre chose que ce pour quoi il a été prévu », a poursuivi le démocrate pour justifier une décision vivement critiquée par certains élus de son parti, en particulier dans l’aile gauche.

    M. Mayorkas a expliqué de son côté que les fonds pour « les barrières physiques supplémentaires » viendraient d’une dotation approuvée par le Congrès dans ce but précis en 2019, quand M. Trump était au pouvoir. L’immigration illégale est un problème politique croissant pour M. Biden, que les républicains accusent de laxisme.

    Donald Trump, son rival et favori de la droite pour la prochaine élection présidentielle, n’a pas manqué de réagir. L’annonce de l’administration Biden montre que « j’avais raison quand j’ai construit 900 km (…) d’un mur frontalier tout beau, tout neuf », a-t-il écrit sur sa plate-forme Truth Social. « Joe Biden s’excusera-t-il auprès de moi et de l’Amérique pour avoir mis si longtemps à bouger et avoir permis que notre pays soit inondé de 15 millions d’immigrants illégaux, venant de lieux inconnus ? », a-t-il ajouté.

    Les républicains ont fait de l’immigration l’un de leurs angles d’attaque favoris contre la Maison Blanche. L’aile droite du parti s’oppose par exemple au déblocage de fonds supplémentaires pour l’Ukraine, estimant que cet argent devrait plutôt servir à lutter contre la crise migratoire.

    Le sénateur conservateur Lindsey Graham a demandé de lier les deux sujets, alors que le Congrès américain doit voter sur un nouveau budget, et donc sur une éventuelle rallonge pour l’Ukraine, avant le 17 novembre, sous peine de paralysie de l’Etat fédéral.

    Reprise des expulsions vers le Venezuela

    La Maison Blanche s’est défendue d’utiliser la construction du mur pour marchander le soutien des parlementaires républicains à un nouvel effort financier en faveur des Ukrainiens : « Je ne ferais pas le lien entre les deux », a assuré Karine Jean-Pierre.

    Concernant le Venezuela, l’administration Biden va reprendre dans les prochains jours les expulsions directes par avion, suspendues depuis des années en raison de la situation sécuritaire très dégradée dans ce pays.

    Le département d’Etat a précisé que les autorités de Caracas avaient accepté de recevoir leurs ressortissants ainsi renvoyés. Le gouvernement vénézuélien a confirmé, dans un communiqué, que les deux pays avaient « conclu un accord permettant de rapatrier de manière organisée, sûre et légale des citoyens vénézuéliens depuis les Etats-Unis ».

    Les Vénézuéliens sont l’une des nationalités les plus représentées parmi les migrants qui arrivent régulièrement à la frontière sud des Etats-Unis. Cette reprise des expulsions directes vise des personnes entrées sur le territoire américain après le 31 juillet 2023. Pour ceux qui se trouvaient sur le sol américain avant cette date, Washington avait récemment annoncé l’octroi de 500 000 permis temporaires de séjour.

    Selon l’ONU, plus de sept millions de personnes ont fui le Venezuela depuis l’effondrement de son économie. Le régime du président Nicolas Maduro est visé par des sanctions de Washington, qui n’a pas reconnu sa réélection en 2018.

    https://www.lemonde.fr/international/article/2023/10/05/l-administration-biden-annonce-discretement-qu-elle-va-financer-une-section-
    #Joe_Biden #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #murs #barrières_frontalières #renvois #expulsions #Venezuela

    • ‘Stabbed in the back’ : Biden’s border wall U-turn leaves Indigenous and climate groups reeling

      Rio Grande communities feel like the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in a political war as climate activists and environmentalists call foul

      The Biden administration’s decision to waive environmental, public health and cultural protections to speed new border wall construction has enraged environmentalists, Indigenous leaders and community groups in the Rio Grande valley.

      “It was disheartening and unexpected,” said Laiken Jordahl, a borderlands campaigner with the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), amid concerns of the impact on essential corridors for wild cats and endangered plants in the area. “This is a new low, a horrific step backwards for the borderlands.”

      This is the first time a Democratic administration has issued such waivers for border wall construction, and for Joe Biden, it’s a marked departure from campaign promises and his efforts to be seen as a climate champion.

      “I see the Biden administration playing a strategic game for elections,” said Michelle Serrano, co-director of Voces Unidas RGV, an immigrants rights and community advocacy group based in the Rio Grande valley. The many rural, immigrant and Indigenous communities that live in the region have become “the sacrificial lamb” for politicians looking to score points, she added.

      As the climate crisis fuels ecological decline, extreme weather and mass migration, the administration’s move is especially upsetting, she added. “Building a border wall is counterproductive,” she said.

      “This is an inhumane response to immigration,” said Michele Weindling, the electoral director of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate justice group. “The right thing to do would be to treat immigrants with compassion and address the root cause of what is forcing people to have to leave their countries, which is the climate crisis.”

      Following the administration’s decision to approve the Willow drilling project in Alaska and renege on a promise to end new drilling, the border wall construction will likely further alienate young voters, she said: “Biden has already caused distrust among young voters. This is another and horrendous reversal of promises he made on the campaign trail, which is a dangerous move to make ahead of 2024.”

      Among the 26 environmental and cultural protections the administration is waiving are the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

      The administration’s proposed 20 new miles of a “border barrier system” in Starr county, Texas, cuts near the lower Rio Grande Valley national wildlife refuge. Construction would bisect fields where the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe and other tribes source peyote for sacramental use. It would also cut through or near old village sites and trails.

      “By developing this, they are furthering a genocide,” said Juan Mancias, the chair of the Carrizo/Comecrudo Tribe, who has been battling border wall construction though tribal cultural sites and graveyards through multiple US administrations. Colonizers “killed our people in the first place, and we had to bury – then you dig them up to build. It’s ongoing genocide”, he said.

      The new sections of border wall would cut through “some of the most rural, peaceful sections of the Rio Grande”, said Jordahl, who recently canoed down the stretch of river where the administration plans its construction. “It was one of the most serene experiences I have ever had on the border. There were orioles flapping their wings in the sky, kingfishers, great blue herons.”

      CBD believes the construction will set back the recovery of endangered ocelots, and cut off wildlife corridors essential to the spotted wildcats’ long-term survival. Two endangered plants, the Zapata bladderpod and prostrate milkweed, would also be threatened by wall construction, according to the CBD.

      The waivers were announced just a month after the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan watchdog agency, released a dire report finding that border wall construction during the Trump administration had destroyed towering saguaro cactuses in Arizona, threatened ocelots in Texas and dynamited Indigenous cultural sites and burial grounds. The report urged US Customs and Border Protection and the interior department to develop a plan to ease the damage.

      In fueling Donald Trump’s zeal to build a “big, beautiful wall” at the US-Mexico border, his administration issued waivers that suspended 84 federal laws including protections pertaining to clean air and water, endangered species, public lands and the rights of Native Americans. The Biden administration rescinded one of the prior administration’s waivers in June.

      In July, the federal government agreed in a settlement to pay $1.2bn to repair environmental damages and protect wildlife affected by sections of border wall construction. Several states as well as the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition had challenged Trump’s use of military construction and of treasury department forfeiture funds to build parts of the wall.

      Now, the president who once vowed that “not another foot of wall would be constructed” under his watch has had his administration issue further waivers to speed wall construction. He has argued that his administration is compelled to construct border barriers, because money to fund its construction was already allocated by Congress. “I tried to get them to reappropriate, to redirect that money. They didn’t,” Biden told reporters. Asked if he thought the border wall worked, he responded, “No.”

      Environmental advocates have disputed the president’s claim that there was no choice but to move ahead with border wall construction. The administration was not obligated to waive environmental and public health protections to speed the work, they argue.

      “It’s absolutely mystifying as to why they thought it was a good idea to issue these waivers,” Jordhal said. “They could have moved forward with the Endangered Species Act still intact, so endangered wildlife and these areas would have had protections.” Keeping environmental, health and cultural protections in place would also have allowed local communities to provide input on the proposed construction and its impact, he added.

      “I’m angry,” said Nayda Alvarez, who spent years fighting the Trump administration’s efforts to seize land that her family has held for at least five generations to build the border wall. “Biden didn’t keep his promises – what happened to his word?”

      Even after the lawsuit to take her property along the Rio Grande was dropped, Alvarez said, she remained uncertain and uneasy – and continued to voice her concerns about the ecological damage caused by border barriers. “We thought maybe we’d be OK with a Democrat as president, and now Biden did this. We’re being stabbed in the back.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/06/biden-border-wall-indigenous-climate-rio-grande
      #peuples_autochtones #nature

      –-

      A mettre en lien aussi avec les conséquences sur la #faune et la #nature de la construction de #barrières_frontalières :
      https://seenthis.net/messages/515608
      #wildlife

  • Un mur flottant équipé de « scies circulaires » à la frontière américano-mexicaine
    https://observers.france24.com/fr/am%C3%A9riques/20230811-un-mur-flottant-%C3%A9quip%C3%A9-de-scies-circulaires-%


    Finalement, on n’a plus besoin des nazis comme figure universelle de la #dégueulasserie #barbare humaine ordinaire.

    Des vidéos diffusées sur les réseaux sociaux le 8 août 2023 permettent d’observer de plus près la barrière frontalière flottante installée par le gouverneur du Texas, Greg Abbott, et destinée à empêcher les migrants clandestins d’entrer aux États-Unis. Ces installations controversées, près desquelles un corps a récemment été retrouvé, sont équipées de disques métalliques pointus fabriqués par Cochrane Global.

  • #Texas prepares to deploy #Rio_Grande buoys in governor’s latest effort to curb border crossings

    Texas began rolling out what is set to become a new floating barrier on the Rio Grande on Friday in the latest escalation of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s multibillion-dollar effort to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, which already has included bussing migrants to liberal states and authorizing the National Guard to make arrests.

    But even before the huge, orange buoys were unloaded from the trailers that hauled them to the border city of Eagle Pass, there were concerns over this part of Abbott’s unprecedented challenge to the federal government’s authority over immigration enforcement. Migrant advocates voiced concerns about drowning risks and environmentalists questioned the impact on the river.

    Dozens of the large spherical buoys were stacked on the beds of four tractor trailers in a grassy city park near the river on Friday morning.

    Setting up the barriers could take up to two weeks, according to Lt. Chris Olivarez, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is overseeing the project.

    Once installed, the above-river parts of the system and the webbing they’re connected with will cover 1,000 feet (305 meter) of the middle of the Rio Grande, with anchors in the riverbed.

    Eagle Pass is part of a Border Patrol sector that has seen the second highest number of migrant crossings this fiscal year with about 270,000 encounters — though that is lower than it was at this time last year.

    The crossing dynamics shifted in May after the Biden administration stopped implementing Title 42, a pandemic era public health policy that turned many asylum seekers back to Mexico. New rules allowed people to seek asylum through a government application and set up appointments at the ports of entry, though the maximum allowed in per day is set at 1,450. The Texas governor’s policies target the many who are frustrated with the cap and cross illegally through the river.

    Earlier iterations of Abbott’s border mission have included installing miles of razor wire at popular crossing points on the river and creating state checkpoints beyond federal stops to inspect incoming commercial traffic.

    “We always look to employ whatever strategies will be effective in securing the border,” Abbott said in a June 8 press conference to introduce the buoy strategy.

    But the state hasn’t said what tests or studies have been done to determine risks posed to people who try to get around the barrier or environmental impacts.

    Immigrant advocates, including Sister Isabel Turcios, a nun who oversees a migrant shelter in Piedras Negras, Mexico, which sits just across the river from Eagle Pass, have remained vigilant about the effects of the new barrier on migration. Turcios said she met with the Texas Department of Public Safety in the days leading up to the arrival of the buoys and was told the floating barrier would be placed in deep waters to function as a warning to migrants to avoid the area.

    Turcios said she is aware that many of the nearly 200 migrants staying in her shelter on any given day are not deterred from crossing illegally despite sharp concertina wire. But that wire causes more danger because it forces migrants to spend additional time in the river.

    “That’s more and more dangerous each time ... because it has perches, it has whirlpools and because of the organized crime,” Turcios said.

    Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw addressed the danger that migrants may face when the buoys are deployed during the June press conference when Abbott spoke: “Anytime they get in that water, it’s a risk to the migrants. This is the deterrent from even coming in the water.”

    Less than a week ago — around the Fourth of July holiday — four people, including an infant, drowned near Eagle Pass as they attempted to cross the river.

    The federal International Boundary and Water Commission, whose jurisdiction includes boundary demarcation and overseeing U.S.-Mexico treaties, said it didn’t get a heads up from Texas about the proposed floating barrier.

    “We are studying what Texas is publicly proposing to determine whether and how this impacts our mission to carry out treaties between the US and Mexico regarding border delineation, flood control, and water distribution, which includes the Rio Grande,” Frank Fisher, a spokesperson for the commission, said in a statement.

    On Friday morning, environmental advocates from Eagle Pass and Laredo, another Texas border city about 115 miles (185 kilometers) downriver, held a demonstration by the border that included a prayer for the river ahead of the barrier deployment.

    Jessie Fuentes, who owns a canoe and kayaking business that takes paddlers onto the Rio Grande, said he’s worried about unforeseen consequences. On Friday, he filed a lawsuit to stop Texas from using the buoys. He’s seeking a permanent injunction, saying his paddling business is impacted by limited access to the river.

    “I know it’s a detriment to the river flow, to the ecology of the river, to the fauna and flora. Every aspect of nature is being affected when you put something that doesn’t belong in the river,” Fuentes said.

    Adriana Martinez, a professor at Southern Illinois University who grew up in Eagle Pass, studies the shapes of rivers and how they move sediment and create landforms. She said she’s worried about what the webbing might do.

    “A lot of things float down the river, even when it’s not flooding; things that you can’t see like large branches, large rocks,” Martinez said. “And so anything like that could get caught up in these buoys and change the way that water is flowing around them.”

    https://apnews.com/article/buoys-texas-immigration-rio-grande-mexico-522e45febd880de1453460370043a25f

    https://twitter.com/clemrenard_/status/1679018421449637888

    #mur_flottant #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #USA #Etats-Unis #barrières_frontalières #barrière_flottante

    En #Grèce...
    Grèce. Le « #mur_flottant » visant à arrêter les personnes réfugiées mettra des vies en danger
    https://seenthis.net/messages/823621

    • Gov. Abbott is destroying the Rio Grande for a fearmongering photo-op.


      Miles of deadly razor-wire have been deployed to ensnare & impale border crossers. Bobcats, bear, mule deer & other wildlife will also be cut off from their main source of water.

      https://twitter.com/LaikenJordahl/status/1691158344361480194

      #fil_barbelé #barbelé

    • Un mur flottant équipé de « scies circulaires » à la frontière américano-mexicaine

      Des vidéos diffusées sur les réseaux sociaux le 8 août 2023 permettent d’observer de plus près la barrière frontalière flottante installée par le gouverneur du Texas, Greg Abbott, et destinée à empêcher les migrants clandestins d’entrer aux États-Unis. Ces installations controversées, près desquelles un corps a récemment été retrouvé, sont équipées de disques métalliques pointus fabriqués par Cochrane Global.

      Quand le gouverneur du Texas, Greg Abbott, a annoncé le 6 juin 2023 l’installation d’une « barrière marine flottante » pour dissuader les migrants de franchir illégalement la frontière sud des États-Unis, un détail important a été omis : entre les bouées orange qui composent l’ouvrage se trouvent des lames de scie circulaire aiguisées, qui rendent le franchissement presque impossible sans risque de se blesser.

      Des représentants de l’association Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) se sont rendus le 8 août 2023 à Eagle Pass, au Texas, et ont partagé de nombreuses vidéos sur leur compte X (anciennement Twitter).

      Les vidéos montrent de plus près les installations et ces disques métalliques tranchants entre les #bouées_flottantes.

      La petite ville d’#Eagle_Pass est devenue l’un des points de passage les plus dangereux de la frontière américano-mexicaine, marquée à cet endroit par le fleuve Rio Grande : les noyades de migrants y sont devenues monnaie courante.

      Le CHC a déclaré que ses membres étaient venus au Texas pour « tirer la sonnette d’alarme sur ces tactiques inhumaines mises en place par le gouverneur Abbott ».

      Une vidéo de 12 secondes, partagée par l’élue à la Chambre des représentants Sylvia Garcia, a été visionnée plus de 25 millions de fois.

      Appalled by the ongoing cruel and inhumane tactics employed by @GovAbbott at the Texas border. The situation’s reality is unsettling as these buoys’ true danger and brutality come to light. We must stop this NOW ! pic.twitter.com/XPc4C8Tnl0
      — Rep. Sylvia Garcia (@RepSylviaGarcia) August 8, 2023

      Le 21 juillet 2023, le ministère américain de la Justice a déposé une plainte contre le gouverneur Greg Abbott au sujet de la barrière frontalière flottante. L’action en justice qualifie d’"illégale" la mise en place d’une telle barrière et vise à forcer le Texas à l’enlever pour des raisons humanitaires et environnementales.

      « Ils traitent les êtres humains comme des animaux »

      La militarisation de la frontière sud des États-Unis avec le Mexique fait partie de l’#investissement de plusieurs milliards de dollars déployé par le gouverneur du Texas Greg Abbott pour stopper « de manière proactive » les arrivées de migrants par cette zone frontalière.

      La clôture flottante n’est qu’un seul des six projets de loi crédités en tout de 5,1 milliards de dollars de dotation et qui ont été annoncés le 6 juin 2023.

      La politique migratoire stricte du Texas, qui consiste notamment à transporter des personnes par car vers les États démocrates du Nord et à autoriser la Garde nationale à procéder à des arrestations, a incité d’autres États républicains à prendre des mesures similaires pour freiner l’immigration illégale.

      Contacté à plusieurs reprises par la rédaction des Observateurs, le bureau du gouverneur Abbott ne nous a pas répondu.

      Everyone needs to see what I saw in Eagle Pass today.

      Clothing stuck on razor wire where families got trapped. Chainsaw devices in the middle of buoys. Land seized from US citizens.

      Operation Lone Star is barbaric — and @GovAbbott is making border communities collateral damage. pic.twitter.com/PzKyZGWfds
      — Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) August 8, 2023

      « Je veux que vous regardiez ici le dispositif de type tronçonneuse qu’ils ont caché au milieu de ces bouées. Et quand vous venez ici, vous pouvez voir au loin tous ces fils de fer barbelés près du fleuve », a commenté le membre du Congrès américain Joaquin Castro, qui a également participé à la visite du CHC au Texas.

      « Le gouvernement de l’État [du Texas, NDLR] et Greg Abbott traitent les êtres humains comme des animaux », a-t-il ajouté dans une vidéo publiée le 8 août 2023 sur son compte X.

      Une frontière flottante fabriquée par Cochrane Global

      Texas began installation of its marine barrier near Eagle Pass. One pro-illegal immigration activist I met taking video elsewhere was outraged, saying it’ll never work. But… if she believes that, why get so verklempt ?Just shrug, smirk and go away. But they must think it’ll work ! pic.twitter.com/4fzdHdNJw8
      — Todd Bensman (@BensmanTodd) July 11, 2023

      Dans la vidéo de 12 secondes de Sylvia Garcia, on entend une personne dire : « Quelqu’un a fait beaucoup d’efforts ridicules pour concevoir ces installations. »

      Sur les bouées, on peut lire le mot « #Cochrane ». #Cochrane_Global est une multinationale spécialisée dans les « barrières [...] de haute sécurité » destinées à l’usage de gouvernements, d’entreprises ou de particuliers.

      Sur son site web, Cochrane Global indique que « la barrière flottante brevetée est composée de plusieurs bouées interconnectées qui peuvent être étendues à n’importe quelle longueur et personnalisées en fonction de l’objectif ».

      Le 4 août 2023, un corps a été retrouvé près du mur flottant installé sur le fleuve, en face d’Eagle Pass, au Texas.

      Il n’est pas clair à ce stade si l’ajout de lames de scie circulaire aux bouées orange a été pensé et fabriqué par Cochrane Global ou s’il a été fait à la demande des autorités de l’État.

      La rédaction des Observateurs a contacté Cochrane Global pour obtenir un commentaire, sans succès. Nous publierons sa réponse dès que nous l’aurons reçue.

      https://observers.france24.com/fr/am%C3%A9riques/20230811-un-mur-flottant-%C3%A9quip%C3%A9-de-scies-circulaires-%

      #business

    • The Floating Barrier and the Border Industrial Complex

      The Texas water wall gives a glimpse into rapidly proliferating border enforcement worldwide and the significant profit to be made from it.

      When I first came across Cochrane International, the company that built the floating barrier deployed in Eagle Pass, Texas, I watched a demonstration the company gave with detached bemusement. I was at a gun range just outside San Antonio. It was 2017, three months after Donald Trump had been sworn in and the last day of that year’s Border Security Expo, the annual gathering of Department of Homeland Security’s top brass and hundreds of companies from the border industry. Among industry insiders, the optimism was high. With Trump’s wall rhetoric at a fever pitch, the money was in the bank.

      All around me, all morning, Border Patrol agents were blasting away body-shaped cutouts in a gun competition. My ears were ringing, thanks in part to the concussion grenade I had launched—under the direction of an agent, but with great ineptitude—into an empty field as part of another hands-on demonstration. The first two days of the expo had been in the much-posher San Antonio convention center, where companies displayed their sophisticated camera systems, biometrics, and drones in a large exhibition hall. But here on the gun range we seemed to be on its raw edge.

      So when a red truck with a camo-painted trailer showed up and announced its demonstration, it wasn’t too much of a surprise. The blasting bullets still echoed all around as if they would never cease. Two men jumped out of the truck wearing red shirts and khaki pants. They frantically ran around the camo trailer, like mice scurrying around a piece of cheese trying to figure out the proper angle of attack. Then the demo began. One of the men got back in the truck, and as it lurched forward, coiling razor wire began to spill out of its rear end as if it were having a bowel movement. As the truck moved forward, more and more of Cochrane’s Rapid Deployment Barrier spilled out until it extended the length of a football field or more. It was like a microwavable insta-wall, fast-food border enforcement.

      Little did I know that six years later, this same company, Cochrane, would give us the floating barrier, with its wrecking ball–sized buoys connected side by side with circular saws. The floating barrier, as the Texas Standard put it, is the “centerpiece of #Operation_Lone_Star,” Texas governor Greg Abbott’s $4.5 billion border enforcement plan. For this barrier, which has now been linked to the deaths of at least two people, the Texas Department of Public Safety awarded Cochrane an $850,000 contract.

      While the floating wall is part of Abbott’s right-wing fear-fueled border operations, it is also a product of the broader border buildup in the United States. It embodies the deterrence strategy that has driven the buildup—via exponentially increasing budgets—for three decades, through multiple federal administrations from both sides of the aisle. In this sense, Cochrane is one of hundreds upon hundreds of companies that have received contracts, and made revenue, from border enforcement. Today, the Biden administration is giving out border and immigration enforcement contracts at a clip of 27 contracts a day, a pace that will top that of all other presidents. (Before Biden, the average was 16 contracts a day.)

      And there is no sign that this will abate anytime soon. Take the ongoing Homeland Security appropriations debate for fiscal year 2024: a detail in a statement put out by House Appropriations chair Kay Granger caught my eye: $2.1 billion will be allocated for the construction of a “physical wall along the southern border.” (This is something readers should keep a keen eye on! Cochrane certainly is.) At stake is the 2024 presidential request for CBP and ICE, at $28.2 billion. While that number is much higher than any of the Trump administration’s annual border enforcement budgets, it is less than the 2023 budget of $29.8 billion, the highest ever for border and immigration enforcement.

      But the $1.6 billion difference between 2023 and 2024 might soon disappear, thanks to supplemental funding requested by the White House, funding that would include nearly $1 billion in unrestricted funds for CBP and ICE enforcement, detention, and surveillance, and more funds for “community-based residential facilities,” among other things. While these “residential facilities” might sound nice, the National Immigrant Justice Center says they will “essentially reinstate family detention.” In other words, the White House aims to build more prisons for migrants, probably also run by private companies. The prison initiative has the support of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which has indicated that it will craft a bill that ensures the supplemental funding’s enactment.

      The tributaries of money into the broader border industrial complex are many, and all indications are that Operation Lone Star, which is drawing money from all kinds of different departments in the Texas state government, will continue as long as Abbott remains at the helm. Moreover, the Department of Homeland Security supplies local and state governments with border enforcement funding via a program called Operation Stonegarden. Under this program, Texas received $39 million in 2022, the equivalent of 47 floating barriers. Or more ambitiously the potential $2.1 billion mentioned above by Granger would amount to 2,470 of Cochrane’s water walls.

      As Cochrane project manager #Loren_Flossman testified (the Department of Justice is suing the state of Texas for building the floating barrier), the water barrier was first contracted by CBP in 2020 but shut down when Biden took office. At the time, the new president said that the administration would not build any more wall (although it has and is). Flossman would know, because he himself came to Cochrane after 17 years working in acquisitions at CBP, as he stated in his testimony. There is a trend in which CBP high brass cruise through the proverbial public-private revolving door, and Flossman is the newest well-connected former government employee peddling barriers across the globe in a world where there is a “rapid proliferation of border walls,” and there exists a border security market projected to nearly double in a decade.

      Cochrane has certainly jumped into this with full force. Besides the floating barrier, its products include an invisible wall known as ClearVu, the “finest fence you’ve never seen.” The same brochure shows this “invisible” wall around a Porsche dealership, an American Airlines building, and the Egyptian pyramids, and it says that the company’s walls can be found “across six continents” and “100 countries.” And that’s not all; such walls can be enhanced with accessories like the Cochrane Smart Coil, Electric Smart Coil, and Spike Toppings. The Smart Coil’s description reads like a menu at a fine-dining restaurant: composed of “a 730mm high Ripper Blade smart Concertina Coil, produced from the finest galvanized steel available on the market.” The “smart” part is that it will provide an “intrusion alert,” and the electric part means a potentially deadly electric current of 7,000 volts. From this menu, CBP has one contract with Cochrane from 2020 for “coil units,” but the contract doesn’t specify if it is “smart,” “electric,” or both.

      When I first saw Cochrane back in 2017 among the ear-ringing gunfire on the last day of the Border Security Expo, I had a feeling I might see them again. No matter how ludicrous the rapid barrier deployment camo truck seemed to me then, there was, indeed, plenty of money to be made.

      https://www.theborderchronicle.com/p/the-floating-barrier-and-the-border
      #complexe_militaro-industriel

  • #Zoe_Leonard
    Al río / To the River

    Over three decades Zoe Leonard (b. 1961, Liberty, New York) has gained critical acclaim for her work. Rooted in photography, Leonard’s practice extends to spatial installation and sculpture. Her art is above all the result of a finely honed observation, in which the documentary approach of photography combines with the physical and bodily act of looking. Migration and displacement, gender and sexuality, mourning and loss, cultural history and the tensions between the natural world and human-built environments are recurring themes in her work.

    This exhibition premieres Al río / To the River, a large-scale photographic work begun in 2016 which takes the Rio Grande, as it is named in the United States, or Río Bravo, as it is named in Mexico, as its subject. Leonard photographed along the 2,000 kilometres where the river is used to demarcate the boundary between the United Mexican States and the United States of America, following the river from the border cities of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico.

    Epic in scale, Al río / To the River results from close observation of both the natural and built environments shaped by and surrounding the river; from desert and mountains to cities, towns and small villages where daily life unfolds in tandem with agriculture, commerce, industry, policing, and surveillance. Leonard’s photographs focus on the accumulation of infrastructure and other constructions built into and alongside the river to control the flow of water, the passage of goods, and the movement of people: dams, levees, roads, irrigation canals, bridges, pipelines, fences and checkpoints. ‘The shifting nature of a river – which floods periodically, changes course and carves new channels – is at odds with the political task it is asked to perform,’ says Leonard.

    Al río / To the River is structured in three parts, including a Prologue and a Coda. Each part engages with photographic language, moving fluidly from abstraction to documentary to digital surveillance imagery.

    Working with a hand-held analogue camera, Leonard takes an embodied position in relation to the river. While always subjective, her view onto the river is not fixed. Crossing frequently back and forth from one side of the river to another (and thus, from one country to another), Leonard refuses a one-sided point of view and instead engages a series of shifting, changing vantage points.

    The work takes shape in passages, sequences of photographs that impart a sense of movement and emphasise actions as they unfold through time. Rather than pointing to one ‘decisive moment’ or one fixed meaning, these arrangements allow the viewer to create meaning through their own close looking.

    The materiality of photographic process is foregrounded in Leonard’s prints. Each photograph is presented as a constructed image, taken from a certain point of view, and made material through processes of selection and printing.

    In Al río / To the River, Leonard pushes back against reductive depictions of the border in mass media, and instead considers a multiplicity of powers and influences. These include commercial and industrial interests, cultural histories and familial connections that span the river, as well as the animals and plants of the region, increasingly under pressure from drought and climate change or the often contradictory human, constructions of the river itself, designated as a ‘wild and scenic’ waterway, a resource for water, and a political borderline.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=qsQz-Yj7qO8&feature=emb_logo


    https://www.mudam.com/exhibitions/al-rio-to-the-river

    #art #exposition #rivière #photographie #infrastructure #pouvoir #frontières #USA #Etats-Unis #USA
    via @isskein

    • Symposium | Riverine Borders: On rivers and other border materialities

      Waterways are essential components of the living and non-living world. They shape landscapes and serve as demarcation lines – as ‘natural borders’ – between states in many parts of the world. In addition to being lines that separate, rivers and streams are also lines that connect, and borderland territories are often particularly rich places of life, interaction, passage, porosity, cross-pollination and exchange.

      Organised in the context of Zoe Leonard’s exhibition Al río / To the River, a series of lectures and the study day Riverine Borders: On rivers and other border materialities will focus on the materiality of these river borders from a territorial, geographical, and political point of view, and also from a metaphorical perspective, as arbitrary places where interests and ideologies overlap and clash.

      A number of scholars and researchers in the fields of visual arts, cultural studies, history and geography will consider the riverine border in the North American and European contexts. Their interventions are both part and a continuation of contemporary debates on the status and the (symbolic) meanings of borders. These questions of borders have gained particular momentum in recent decades. The significance of borders as a response to the rise of burgeoning nationalisms or the ongoing migration management crisis in particular, has led to a forced digitalisation of border regimes, an increase in physical and digital surveillance and the multiplication of border installations worldwide.

      This programme has been developed in conjunction with Zoe Leonard’s exhibition Al río / To the River (26.02–06.06.2022, Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean) in collaboration with partners of the UniGR-Center for Border Studies: University of Luxembourg (Geography and Spatial Planning), Universität des Saarlandes (North American Literary and Cultural Studies) and Universität Trier (Trier Center for American Studies).

      Schedule of the study day (20.05.2022):

      09h00: Possibility to visit the exhibition, to discover the student project Borderland stories at Mudam Studio, and small breakfast at Mudam Café
      09h45: Welcoming and small introduction
      10h00: First section on the materiality of the river: #Rebekka_Kanesu, Dr. #Ifor_Duncan, Dr. C. J. Alvarez (30 minutes each + discussion)
      12h30: Lunch break, possibility to visit the exhibition, and to discover the student project Borderland stories at Mudam Studio
      14h00–16h30: Second section on the river as a metaphor: #Elisabeth_Lebovici & #Catherine_Facerias, Dr. #Daniela_Johannes, Prof. Dr. #Astrid_Fellner (30 minutes each + discussion)
      17h00: Closing and final discussion

      Rebekka Kanesu
      Liquid lines – an exploration of hydrosocial borders
      In this talk, I question when and how a river is made into a ‘marker of division’, ‘an engine of connectivity’ or no border at all. Rivers as borders challenge common understandings of seemingly static (political) borders. Rather than building simple cartographic lines for territorial separation, rivers are constantly in motion and shift their shape according to seasonal changes and their hydromorphology. In addition to their role as visible demarcation, they simultaneously serve multiple functions, such as infrastructure for navigation and energy production, as source of fresh water, recreational space, wastewater discharge or aquatic ecosystem. Rivers are hydrological and social entities, which complicates their use as border. By analysing the hydrosociality of the Mosel River, the border river that crosses and builds the borders between France, Luxembourg, and Germany, I argue for a more dynamic and complex perspective on borders. The discussion of different examples of material-discursive practices that shape(d) the Mosel as border will show the tensions, connections, attempts of control and forms of resistance that are negotiated between different human and non-human actors in the process of border making. By looking at the Mosel as a three-dimensional liquid space and by considering its directionality and materiality, I will explore the contingent forms of hydrosocial border making that may open up new understandings of border spaces.

      Rebekka Kanesu is a PhD candidate in human geography at the Department of Spatial and Environmental Sciences at Trier University. She has a background in social and cultural anthropology and is interested in topics that encompass human-environment relations, political ecology, and more-than-human geographies in connection to border studies. In her PhD project ‘Liquid Lines – on rivers and borders in the Anthropocene’ she studies the relation between people, fish and the transboundary Mosel river as infrastructure from a political ecology perspective.

      Dr. Ifor Duncan
      Weaponising a River
      This talk investigates the production of the Evros, Meriç, Martisa river – ‘land’ border between Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria – as a border technology. From its main course to its delta, this fluvial frontier is weighted with the crossings of asylum seekers and systematic pushbacks. I conceive of this technology as incorporating the entire hydrology of the river ecosystem, from the deadly velocities of the central course, through its muds, fogs, and flood defense walls that mark the military buffer zone that surrounds it (Zoni Asfaleias Prokalypsis (ZAP)). State impunity is in part produced by the ZAP’s enfolding of the excess of floodwaters into the excesses of sovereign territorial power. After a century of fluvio-geomorphological change since demarcation in 1926 the borderised river simultaneously riverises the border. In this way the river border is a dynamic archive of the military calculations and geopolitical decisions that make its properties treacherous in the production of increasingly perilous migration routes. Here beatings are customary, mobile phones and official documentation are thrown into the river, and, after seasonal floods, bodies wash up in the delta. In its waters and in its sediments the river border is both a weapon and an archive of the reproduction of deadly exclusionary policies enacted at the watery edges of the EU. This talk includes hydrophone recordings, interviews with asylum seekers, legal scholars, environmental scientists, and uses other time-based media.

      Ifor Duncan is a writer, artist and inter-disciplinary researcher who focuses on the overlaps between political violence and water ecosystems. He is postdoctoral fellow in Environmental Humanities at Ca’ Foscari University, Venice. Ifor holds a PhD from the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, entitled Hydrology of the Powerless and is developing a book project Necro-Hydrology, a concept which exists where the knowledge and corresponding management of water – in its multiple forms – is produced as adversarial to life and positions human and environmental justice as intrinsically connected. Ifor is also a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art.

      Dr. C. J. Alvarez
      Three Ways to Think about River History with Examples from the Rio Grande
      The #Rio_Grande is a very long river without much water in it. Yet even though sections of it often run dry, it nonetheless plays an important role in multiple kinds of historical narratives because of the great distance it travels from the high, snow-covered Rocky Mountains, through the arid desert, and down to the subtropical Gulf of Mexico. Over more than 3,000 km it moves through radically different environments and cultures and this complexity is compounded by the fact that part of the river has been converted into a political border. During my years of research about the United States-Mexico divide and the Chihuahuan Desert I have spent a lot of time on the banks of the Rio Grande all along its length. From those experiences I developed three largely distinct ways of looking at the river. Each point of view has led to different research questions about it. Here are the three questions: What is the river’s nature? How have people interacted with it? How have politics been superimposed upon it? Sometimes there is overlap between the answers to these questions, but in general they produce different kinds of narratives and help us develop different ways of seeing the nonhuman world. This talk is designed to familiarise you with a particularly fascinating North American river, but it is also intended to pass along a set of intellectual frameworks that can be applied to any other waterway on the planet.

      C. J. Alvarez grew up in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He studied art history at Stanford and Harvard and received his doctorate in history from the University of Chicago. He is currently an associate professor in the department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin where he writes and teaches about the history of the U.S.-Mexico border and environmental history. He is the author of the book Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the U.S.-Mexico Divide, the first broad-sweeping history of building projects on the border. He is currently writing a book about the history of the Chihuahuan Desert, the largest and least known desert in North America.

      Catherine Facerias & Elisabeth Lebovici
      Crossing over with Borderlands/La Frontera
      ‘What if I take this space that I’ve been pushed to as a lesbian, as a Mexican, as a woman, as a short person, whatever, and make this my territory... What if I start pushing to enlarge that crack so that other people can also be in it?’ (Gloria Anzaldúa, in BackTalk, Women Writers Speak Out, 1993). Thirty-five years after the publication of Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza, Gloria Anzaldúa’s legacy is still vibrantly meaningful. Borderlands has become a landmark in various disciplinary fields, from literature to border studies, from Chicanx and Latinx anthropology to ecocriticism theory. A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Anzaldúa formulated the land of the border as a formative space in terms of language and identity, as well as the site of/for political and cultural resistance. Our talk will focus on the frontier as a living, shifting, ‘bridging’ and ultimately productive space for minorities cultures and subjectivities.

      Catherine Facerias is an independent researcher and writer, trained as an urban anthropologist at École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris. Her work focuses on the modes of production of public space in a built-up environment, on the terms of access to the public space and to the city in general, and on the conditions of existence in the interstices of the urban space.

      Elisabeth Lebovici is an art historian and critic living in Paris. She has been a culture editor for the daily newspaper Libération (1991–2006) and produces for her blog le-beau-vice. Formerly a HIV/AIDS activist, she is, with Catherine Facerias, a founding member of the LIG/ ‘Lesbians of General Interest’ fund. Since the 1990s, she has been involved in writing on feminism, activism, queer politics and contemporary arts. She is the author, with Catherine Gonnard, of a history of women artists in France between 1880 and the 2000’s Femmes artistes/Artistes femmes: Paris de 1880 à nos jours (Paris: Hazan, 2007). Her latest book Ce que le sida m’a fait. Art et Activisme à la fin du 20e siècle. (Zurich: JRP Ringier, ‘lectures Maison Rouge’, 2017 and 2021) (What AIDS Has Done To Me. Art and Activism at the End of the 20th century.) has received the Prix Pierre Daix 2017 in art history. Elisabeth co-curates (with Patricia Falguières and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez) an ongoing seminar at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris titled ‘Something You Should Know: Artists and Producers’.

      Dr. Daniela Johannes
      Cry me a River: Water Affects and Womanhood in Borderlands Chicanx Literature
      The central archetype of the cautionary tale of La Llorona – the weeping mother-ghost of the Mexico-US border folklore – is the woman who failed at role-modeling motherhood and is thereafter condemned to cry for her lost children at the riverbanks. The image of the flowing river, once a symbolism of the never-ending flow of life, is here a symbolism of death, drowning and depth, in a confluent relation with the woman’s tears that flow in an out-of-control manner. This way, the archetype serves not only to instill the urge of motherhood, but to talk women out of the unwanted womanhood, associated with the stereotypes of being overtly emotional, irritable and irrational. In contemporary borderlands literature, archetypes of womanhood such as La Llorona are re-envisioned, as Simerka asserts, ‘to re-define and expand the role of women beyond the traditional focus of motherhood and marriage’. Moreover, this presentation deals with how this literature re-defines the emotional responses of women in relation with the affective agencies of water, which symbolically and materially retro-permeates womankind. The affective interchanges between territorial landscape and women’s bodies reignite what Cherrie Moraga called a ‘theory in the flesh’, now inscribing borderlands geo-imaginations in women’s bodies as well as in bodies of water. While rivers serve as a tool of bordering to establish political boundaries nationhood and gender, bordering as an affective act in literature has the potential to dismantle them within the intimate territory of the body.

      Dr. Daniela Johannes is an Associate Professor of Latinx Studies at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the significance of the Sonoran Desert environment as a crucial aspect of US southern border securitisation, which propels a politics of nature as means to control life and death within the space of the nation. At West Chester, Dr. Johannes is currently the director of the Latin American and Latinx Studies Program and the Chair of Multicultural Faculty Commission within the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office. At the regional level, she recently assumed the direction of the Greater Philadelphia Latin American Studies Consortium.

      Prof. Dr. #Astrid_Fellner
      Bridging Rivers/Undoing Borders: Queer Border Practices on the US-Mexican Border
      How can borders be undone? How can the watery surface of riverine borders shift solid demarcations and contribute to an undoing of borders? In which ways can cultural practices that bridge rivers constitute powerful counter-formations to the view of borders and #border_regimes as infrastructural events or technological operation, that is assemblages of various human actors, technology, and surveillance apparatuses? Taking into account the importance of border processes in the 21st century, this talk highlights new border epistemologies that draw on the creative potential of riverine borders to undo fixed lines. Focusing on the subversive potential of artistic border practices which queer and destabilise borders, this contribution zooms in on instances of overlapping, crisscrossing, merging, layering, and clashing of riverine borders.

      Astrid M. Fellner is Chair of North American Literary and Cultural Studies at Saarland University, Germany. She is Co-Speaker at the German Research foundation and Canadian Social Science Foundation-funded interdisciplinary International Graduate Research Training Program ‘Diversity: Mediating Difference in Transcultural Space’ that Saarland University and University of Trier are conducting with the Université de Montréal. She is also Project Leader at Saarland University of the EU-funded INTERREG Großregion VA-Project ‘University of the Greater Region Centre for Border Studies’ and is Action Coordinator of a trilingual Border Glossary, a handbook of 40 key terms in Border Studies. She has been involved in a DAAD-Eastpartnership project with Petro Mohyla Black Sea National University in Mykolaiv on the topic of ‘Bridging Borders’ since 2014. Since April 2021 she has also been a member of the interdisciplinary BMBF-project ‘Linking Borderlands,’ in which she studies border films and industrial culture of the Greater Region in comparison with the German/Polish border. Her publications include Articulating Selves: Contemporary Chicana Self-Representation (2002), Bodily Sensations: The Female Body in Late-Eighteenth-Century American Culture (forthcoming) and several edited volumes and articles in the fields of Border Studies, US Latino/a literature, Post-Revolutionary American Literature, Canadian literature, Indigenous Studies, Gender/Queer Studies, and Cultural Studies.

      Schedule of the online series of lectures:

      13.05.2022 | 18h30–20h00: Carlos Morton (University of California at Santa Barbara), The tao of Mestizaje: multiple borders, multiple bridges
      (More information and subscription: Universität des Saarlandes)
      22.03.2022: Fabio Santos (Aarhus University) | Bridging Fluid Borders: Entanglements in the French-Brazilian Borderland
      12.04.2022: Ana Gomez Laris (Universität Duisburg-Essen), on the symbolic meaning of borders and their effects on identity, considering phenomena of passing by (undocumented) migrants to the United States.

      https://www.mudam.com/events/symposium-riverine-borders-on-rivers-and-other-border-materialities

      Le #symposium a été enregistré:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ_2Yiuvn7I


      (8h d’enregistrement)

      #Evros #Grèce #conférence

  • Grèce. Le « #mur_flottant » visant à arrêter les personnes réfugiées mettra des vies en danger

    En réaction à la proposition du gouvernement d’installer un système de #barrages_flottants de 2,7 km le long des côtes de #Lesbos pour décourager les nouvelles arrivées de demandeurs et demandeuses d’asile depuis la Turquie, Massimo Moratti, directeur des recherches pour le bureau européen d’Amnesty International, a déclaré :

    « Cette proposition marque une escalade inquiétante dans les tentatives du gouvernement grec de rendre aussi difficile que possible l’arrivée de personnes demandeuses d’asile et réfugiées sur ses rivages. Cela exposerait davantage aux #dangers celles et ceux qui cherchent désespérément la sécurité.

    « Ce plan soulève des questions préoccupantes sur la possibilité pour les sauveteurs de continuer d’apporter leur aide salvatrice aux personnes qui tentent la dangereuse traversée par la mer jusqu’à Lesbos. Le gouvernement doit clarifier de toute urgence les détails pratiques et les garanties nécessaires pour veiller à ce que ce système ne coûte pas de nouvelles vies. »

    Complément d’information

    Le système de barrage flottant ferait partie des mesures adoptées dans le cadre d’une tentative plus large de sécuriser les #frontières_maritimes et d’empêcher les arrivées.

    En 2019, près de 60 000 personnes sont arrivées en Grèce par la mer, soit presque deux fois plus qu’en 2018. Entre janvier et octobre, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) a enregistré 66 décès sur la route de la Méditerranée orientale.

    https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2020/01/greece-floating-wall-to-stop-refugees-puts-lives-at-risk
    #migrations #frontières #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #Mer_Méditerranée #Mer_Egée #fermeture_des_frontières #frontière_mobile #frontières_mobiles

    ping @karine4 @mobileborders

    • Greece plans floating border barrier to stop migrants

      The government in Greece wants to use a floating barrier to help stop migrants from reaching the Greek islands from the nearby coast of Turkey.
      The Defense Ministry has invited private contractors to bid on supplying a 2.7-kilometer-long (1.7 miles) floating fence within three months, according to information available on a government procurement website Wednesday. No details were given on when the barrier might be installed.
      A resurgence in the number of migrants and refugees arriving by sea to Lesbos and other eastern Greek islands has caused severe overcrowding at refugee camps.
      The netted barrier would rise 50 centimeters (20 inches) above water and be designed to hold flashing lights, the submission said. The Defense Ministry estimates the project will cost 500,000 euros ($550,000), which includes four years of maintenance.
      The government’s description says the “floating barrier system” needs to be built “with non-military specifications” and “specific features for carrying out the mission of (maritime agencies) in managing the refugee crisis.”
      “This contract process will be executed by the Defense Ministry but is for civilian use — a process similar to that used for the supply of other equipment for (camps) housing refugees and migrants,” a government official told The Associated Press.
      The official asked not to be identified pending official announcements by the government.
      Greece’s six-month old center-right government has promised to take a tougher line on the migration crisis and plans to set up detention facilities for migrants denied asylum and to speed up deportations back to Turkey.
      Under a 2016 migration agreement between the European Union and Turkey, the Turkish government was promised up to 6 billion euros to help stop the mass movement of migrants to Europe.
      Nearly 60,000 migrants and refugees made the crossing to the islands last year, nearly double the number recorded in 2018, according to data from the United Nations’ refugee agency.

      https://www.arabnews.com/node/1619991/world

    • Greece wants floating fence to keep migrants out

      Greece wants to install a floating barrier in the Aegean Sea to deter migrants arriving at its islands’ shores through Turkey, government officials said on Thursday.

      Greece served as the gateway to the European Union for more than one million Syrian refugees and other migrants in recent years. While an agreement with Turkey sharply reduced the number attempting the voyage since 2016, Greek islands still struggle with overcrowded camps operating far beyond their capacity.

      The 2.7 kilometer long (1.68 miles) net-like barrier that Greece wants to buy will be set up in the sea off the island of Lesbos, where the overcrowded Moria camp operates.

      It will rise 50 centimeters above sea level and carry light marks that will make it visible at night, a government document inviting vendors to submit offers said, adding that it was “aimed at containing the increasing inflows of migrants”.

      “The invitation for floating barriers is in the right direction,” Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told Skai Radio. “We will see what the result, what its effect as a deterrent will be in practice.”

      “It will be a natural barrier. If it works like the one in Evros... it can be effective,” he said, referring to a cement and barbed-wire fence Greece set up in 2012 along its northern border with Turkey to stop a rise in migrants crossing there.

      Aid groups, which have described the living conditions at migrant camps as appalling, said fences in Europe had not deterred arrivals and that Greece should focus on speeding up the processing of asylum requests instead.

      “We see, in recent years, a surge in the number of barriers that are being erected but yet people continue to flee,” Βoris Cheshirkov, spokesman in Greece for U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, told Reuters. “Greece has to have fast procedures to ensure that people have access to asylum quickly when they need it.”

      Last year, 59,726 migrants and refugees reached Greece’s shores according to the UN agency UNHCR. Nearly 80% of them arrived on Chios, Samos and Lesbos.

      A defense ministry official told Reuters the floating fence would be installed at the north of Lesbos, where migrants attempt to cross over due to the short distance from Turkey.

      If the 500,000 euro barrier is effective, more parts may be added and it could reach up to 15 kilometers, the official said.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-greece-barrier/greece-wants-floating-fence-to-keep-migrants-out-idUSKBN1ZT0W5?il=0

    • La Grèce veut ériger une frontière flottante sur la mer pour limiter l’afflux de migrants

      Le ministère grec de la Défense a rendu public mercredi un appel d’offres pour faire installer un "système de protection flottant" en mer Égée. L’objectif : réduire les flux migratoires en provenance de la Turquie alors que la Grèce est redevenue en 2019 la première porte d’entrée des migrants en Europe.

      C’est un appel d’offres surprenant qu’a diffusé, mercredi 29 janvier, le ministère grec de la Défense : une entreprise est actuellement recherchée pour procéder à l’installation d’un “système de protection flottant” en mer Égée. Cette frontière maritime qui pourra prendre la forme de "barrières" ou de "filets" doit servir "en cas d’urgence" à repousser les migrants en provenance de la Turquie voisine.

      Selon le texte de l’appel d’offres, le barrage - d’une “longueur de 2,7 kilomètres” et d’une hauteur de 1,10 mètre dont 50 cm au dessus du niveau de la mer - sera mis en place par les forces armées grecques. Il devrait être agrémenté de feux clignotants pour une meilleure visibilité. Le budget total comprenant conception et installation annoncé par le gouvernement est de 500 000 euros.

      “Au-delà de l’efficacité douteuse de ce choix, comme ne pas reconnaître la dimension humanitaire de la tragédie des réfugiés et la transformer en un jeu du chat et de la souris, il est amusant de noter la taille de la barrière et de la relier aux affirmations du gouvernement selon lesquelles cela pourrait arrêter les flux de réfugiés”, note le site d’information Chios News qui a tracé cette potentielle frontière maritime sur une carte à bonne échelle pour comparer les 2,7 kilomètres avec la taille de l’île de Lesbos.

      La question des migrants et des réfugiés est gérée par le ministère de l’Immigration qui a fait récemment sa réapparition après avoir été fusionné avec un autre cabinet pendant six mois. Devant l’ampleur des flux migratoires que connaît la Grèce depuis 2015, le ministère de la Défense et l’armée offrent un soutien logistique au ministère de l’Immigration et de l’Asile.

      Mais la situation continue de se corser pour la Grèce qui est redevenue en 2019 la première porte d’entrée des migrants et des réfugiés en Europe. Actuellement, plus de 40 000 demandeurs d’asile s’entassent dans des camps insalubres sur des îles grecques de la mer Égée, alors que leur capacité n’est que de 6 200 personnes.

      Le nouveau Premier ministre Kyriakos Mitsotakis, élu à l’été 2019, a fait de la lutte contre l’immigration clandestine l’une de ses priorités. Il a déjà notamment durci l’accès à la procédure de demande d’asile. Il compte également accélérer les rapatriements des personnes qui "n’ont pas besoin d’une protection internationale" ou des déboutés du droit d’asile, une mesure à laquelle s’opposent des ONG de défense des droits de l’Homme.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/22441/la-grece-veut-eriger-une-frontiere-flottante-sur-la-mer-pour-limiter-l

    • Vidéo avec la réponse d’ #Adalbert_Jahnz, porte-parole de la Commission Européenne, à la question de la légalité d’une telle mesure.
      La réponse est mi-figue, mi-raisin : les réfugiés ne doivent pas être empêchés par des #barrières_physiques à déposer une demande d’asile, mais la mise en place de telles #barrières n’est pas en soi contraire à la législation européenne et la protection de frontières externes relève principalement de la responsabilité de chaque Etat membre : https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-183932

      signalé, avec le commentaire ci-dessus, par Vicky Skoumbi.

    • Greece’s Answer to Migrants, a Floating Barrier, Is Called a ‘Disgrace’

      Rights groups have condemned the plan, warning that it would increase the dangers faced by asylum seekers.

      As Greece struggles to deal with a seemingly endless influx of migrants from neighboring Turkey, the conservative government has a contentious new plan to respond to the problem: a floating net barrier to avert smuggling boats.

      But rights groups have condemned the plan, warning that it would increase the perils faced by asylum seekers amid growing tensions at camps on the Aegean Islands and in communities there and on the mainland. The potential effectiveness of the barrier system has also been widely questioned, and the center-right daily newspaper Kathimerini dismissed the idea in an editorial on Friday as “wishful thinking.”

      Moreover, the main opposition party, the leftist Syriza, has condemned the floating barrier plan as “a disgrace and an insult to humanity.”

      The authorities aim to install a 1.7-mile barrier between the Greek and Turkish coastlines that would rise more than 19 inches above the water and display flashing lights, according to a description posted on a government website this past week by Greece’s Defense Ministry.

      Citing an “urgent need to address rising refugee flows,” the 126-page submission invited private contractors to bid for the project that would cost an estimated 500,000 euros, or more than $554,000, including the cost of four years of maintenance. The government is expected to assign the job in the next three months, though it is unclear when the barrier would be erected.

      Greece’s defense minister, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, told Greek radio on Thursday that he hoped the floating barrier would act as a deterrent to smugglers, similar to a barbed-wire fence that the Greek authorities built along the northern land border with Turkey in 2012.

      “In Evros, physical barriers had a relative impact in curbing flows,” he said. “We believe a similar result can be achieved with these floating barriers.”

      The construction will be overseen by the Defense Ministry, which has supervised the creation of new reception centers on the Greek islands and mainland in recent months, and will be subject to “nonmilitary specifications” to meet international maritime standards, the submission noted.

      A spokesman for Greece’s government, Stelios Petsas, said the barrier system would have to be tested for safety.

      But rights activists warn that the measure would increase the dangers faced by migrants making the short but perilous journey across the Aegean. Amnesty International’s research director for Europe, Massimo Moratti, condemned the proposal as “an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores.”

      He warned that it could “lead to more danger for those desperately seeking safety.”

      The head of Amnesty International’s chapter in Greece, Gavriil Sakellaridis, questioned whether the Greek authorities would respond to an emergency signal issued by a boat stopped at the barrier.

      The European Commission has expressed reservations and planned to ask the authorities in Greece, which is a member of the European Union, for details about the proposal. Adalbert Jahnz, a commission spokesman, told reporters in Brussels on Thursday that any Greek sea barriers to deter migrants must not block access for asylum seekers.

      “The setting up of barriers is not in and of itself against E.U. law,” he said. “But physical barriers or obstacles of this sort should not be an impediment to seeking asylum which is protected by E.U. law,” he said, conceding, however, that the protection of external borders was primarily the responsibility of member states.

      The barrier was proposed amid an uptick in migrants from Turkey. The influx, though far below the thousands of daily arrivals at the peak of the crisis in 2015, has put an increasing strain on already intensely overcrowded reception centers.

      According to Greece’s migration minister, Notis Mitarakis, 72,000 migrants entered Greece last year, compared with 42,000 in 2018. The floating barrier will help curb arrivals, Mr. Mitarakis said.
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      “It sends out the message that we are not a place where anything goes and that we’re taking all necessary measures to protect the borders,” he said, adding that the process of deporting migrants who did not merit refugee status would be sped up.

      “The rules have changed,” he said.

      Greece has repeatedly appealed for more support from the bloc to tackle migration flows, saying it cannot handle the burden alone and accusing Turkey of exploiting the refugee crisis for leverage with the European Union.

      Repeated threats by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to “open the gates” to Europe for Syrian refugees on his country’s territory have fueled fears that an agreement signed between Turkey and the European Union in 2016, which radically curbed arrivals, will collapse.

      Growing tensions between Greece and Turkey over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and revived disputes over sovereignty in the Aegean have further undermined cooperation between the two traditional foes in curbing human trafficking, fragile at the best of times.

      The Greek government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is also under growing pressure domestically since it came to power last summer on a pledge to take a harder line on migration than that of his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza.

      Plans unveiled in November to create new camps on the Aegean Islands have angered residents, who staged mass demonstrations last month, waving banners reading, “We want our islands back.”

      Rights groups have also warned of the increasingly dire conditions at existing camps on five islands hosting some 44,000 people, nearly 10 times their capacity.

      Tensions are particularly acute on the sprawling Moria camp on Lesbos, with reports of 30 stabbings in the past month, two fatal.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/01/world/europe/greece-migrants-floating-barrier.html

    • Greece plans to build sea barrier off Lesbos to deter migrants

      Defence ministry says floating barrier will stop migrants crossing from Turkey.

      The Greek government has been criticised after announcing it will build a floating barrier to deter thousands of people from making often perilous sea journeys from Turkey to Aegean islands on Europe’s periphery.

      The centre-right administration unveiled the measure on Thursday, following its pledge to take a tougher stance on undocumented migrants accessing the country.

      The 2.7km-long netted barrier will be erected off Lesbos, the island that shot to prominence at the height of the Syrian civil war when close to a million Europe-bound refugees landed on its beaches. The bulwark will rise from pylons 50 metres above water and will be equipped with flashing lights to demarcate Greece’s sea borders.

      Greece’s defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, told Skai radio: “In Evros, natural barriers had relative [good] results in containing flows,” referring to the barbed-wire topped fence that Greece built along its northern land border with Turkey in 2012 to deter asylum seekers. “We believe a similar result can be had with these floating barriers. We are trying to find solutions to reduce flows.”

      Amnesty International slammed the plan, warning it would enhance the dangers asylum-seekers and refugees encountered as they attempted to seek safety.

      “This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores,” said Massimo Moratti, the group’s Research Director for Europe.“The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesbos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

      Greece’s former migration minister, Dimitris Vitsas, described the barrier as a “stupid idea” that was bound to be ineffective. “The idea that a fence of this length is going to work is totally stupid,” he said. “It’s not going to stop anybody making the journey.”

      Greece has seen more arrivals of refugees and migrants than any other part of Europe over the past year, as human traffickers along Turkey’s western coast target its outlying Aegean isles with renewed vigour. More than 44,000 people are in camps on the outposts designed to hold no more than 5,400 people. Human rights groups have described conditions in the facilities as deplorable. In Moria, the main reception centre on Lesbos, about 140 sick children are among an estimated 19,000 men, women and children crammed into vastly overcrowded tents and containers.

      Amid mounting tensions with Turkey over energy resources in the Mediterranean, Greece fears a further surge in arrivals in the spring despite numbers dropping radically since the EU struck a landmark accord with Ankara to curb the flows in March 2016.

      The prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who trounced his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras, in July partly on the promise to bolster the country’s borders, has accused the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of exploiting the refugee drama as political leverage both in dealings with Athens and the EU. As host to some 4 million displaced Syrians, Turkey has more refugees than anywhere else in the world, with Erdoğan facing mounting domestic pressure over the issue.

      Greek officials, who are also confronting growing outrage from local communities on Aegean islands, fear that the number of arrivals will rise further if, as looks likely, Idlib, Syria’s last opposition holdout falls. The area has come under renewed attack from regime forces in recent days.

      It is hoped the barrier will be in place by the end of April after an invitation by the Greek defence ministry for private contractors to submit offers.

      The project is expected to cost €500,000 (£421,000). Officials said it will be built by the military, which has also played a role in erecting camps across Greece, but with “non-military specifications” to ensure international maritime standards. The fence could extend 13 to 15km, with more parts being added if the initial pilot is deemed successful.

      “There will be a test run probably on land first for technological reasons,” said one official.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/greece-plans-to-build-sea-barrier-off-lesbos-to-deter-migrants

    • “Floating wall” to stop refugees puts lives at risk, says Amnesty International

      The plans of the Greek government to build floating fences to prevent refugee and migrants arrivals from Turkey have triggered sharp criticism by Amnesty International. A statement issued on Thursday says that the floating fences will put people’s lives at risk.

      In response to a government proposal to install a 2.7 km long system of floating dams off the coast of Lesvos to deter new arrivals of asylum seekers from Turkey, Amnesty International’s Research Director for Europe Massimo Moratti said:

      “This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores and will lead to more danger for those desperately seeking safety.

      This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible refugees to arrive on its shores.
      Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International

      “The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesvos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

      Background

      The floating dam system is described as one of the measures adopted in a broader attempt to secure maritime borders and prevent arrivals.

      In 2019, Greece received almost 60,000 sea arrivals, almost doubling the total number of sea arrivals in 2018. Between January and October, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded 66 deaths on the Eastern Mediterranean route.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/01/31/amnesty-international-floating-fences-greece-refugees

    • Greece is building floating fences to stop migration flows in the Aegean

      Greece is planning to build floating fences in the Aegean Sea in order to prevent refugees and migrants to arrive from Turkey, The fences are reportedly to be set off the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea that receive the overwhelming migration flows. The plan will be executed by the Greek Armed Forces as the tender launched by the Defense Ministry states.

      For this purpose the Defense Ministry has launched a tender for the supply of the floating fences.

      According to Lesvos media stonisi, the tender aims to supply the Defense Ministry with 2,700 meters of protection floating system of no military specifications.

      The floating fences will be used by the Armed Forces for their mission to manage a continuously increasing refugee/migration flows, as it is clearly stated in the tender text.

      It is indicative that the tender call to the companies states that the supply of the floating protection system “will restrict and, where appropriate, suspend the intent to enter the national territory, in order to counter the ever-increasing migration / refugee flows due to the imperative and urgent need to restrain the increased refugee flows.”

      The tender has been reportedly launched on Jan 24, 2020, in order to cover “urgent needs.” The floating fences will carry lights liker small lighthouses. The fences will be 1.10 m high with 60 cm under water.

      they are reportedly to be installed off the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos.

      The estimated cost of the floating system incl maintenance is at 500,000 euros.

      Government spokesman and Defense Minister confirmed the reports on Thursday following skeptical reactions. “It is the first phase of a pilot program,” to start initially of Lesvos, said spokesman Petsas. “We want to see if it works,” he added.

      The floating fences plan primarily raises the question on whether it violates the international law as it prevents people fleeing for their live to seek a safe haven.

      Another question is how these floating fences will prevent the sea traffic (ships, fishing boats)

      PS and the third question is, of course, political: Will these fences be installed at 6 or 12 nautical miles off the islands shores? Greece could use the opportunity to extend its territorial waters… etc etc But it only the usual mean Greeks making jokes about a measure without logic.

      https://twitter.com/Kapoiosmpla/status/1222496803154800641?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E12

      Meanwhile, opponents of the measure showed the length of the floating fence in proportion to the island of Lesvos. The comparison is shocking.

      https://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2020/01/29/floating-fences-greece-aegean-migration-armed-forces

    • La barrière marine anti-migrants en Grèce pourrait ressembler à ça

      Au large de Lesbos, 27km de filet vont être installés pour dissuader les réfugiés et les demandeurs d’asile d’atteindre les îles grecques.

      Un mur marin en filet pour dissuader de venir. Cela fait quelques jours que la Grèce a annoncé son intention d’ériger une barrière dans la mer pour empêcher les migrants d’arriver sur les côtes. On découvre à présent à quoi pourrait ressembler ce nouveau dispositif.

      Selon les informations du Guardianet de la BBC et modélisée en images par l’agence Reuters, la barrière anti-migrants voulue par la Grèce s’étendrait sur 27 kilomètres de long au large de Lesbos. Elle serait soutenue par des pylônes qui s’élèveraient à une cinquantaine de mètres au-dessus de l’eau. Équipée d’une signalisation lumineuse, elle pourrait dissuader les réfugiés de se rendre à Lesbos. C’est, du moins, l’intention du ministre grec de l’Intérieur, Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

      De telles barrières s’élevant au-dessus du niveau de la mer pourraient ainsi rendre difficile le passage des petits bateaux et pourraient poser un problème pour les navires à hélices. Le coût du projet s’élèverait à 500.000 euros ; il faudrait quatre ans pour le mener à bien.
      “Une idée stupide et inefficace”

      L’ONG Amnesty International a vivement critiqué le projet avertissant qu’il ne ferait qu’aggraver les dangers auxquels les réfugiés sont déjà confrontés dans leur quête de sécurité. L’ancien ministre grec des migrations, Dimitris Vitsas, a, lui, décrit la barrière comme une “idée stupide” qui devrait être inefficace. “L’idée qu’une clôture de cette longueur va fonctionner est totalement stupide, a-t-il déclaré. Cela n’empêchera personne de faire le voyage.”

      Mais pour le ministre grec de la Défense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, l’expérience vécue avec les murs terrestres justifie le projet. ”À Evros, a-t-il déclaré sur radio Skai, l’une des plus grosses stations du pays, les barrières naturelles ont eu de [bons] résultats relatifs à contenir les flux.” Il fait ainsi référence à la clôture surmontée de barbelés que la Grèce a construite le long de sa frontière terrestre nord avec la Turquie en 2012 pour dissuader demandeurs d’asile. “Nous pensons qu’un résultat similaire peut être obtenu avec ces barrières flottantes. Nous essayons de trouver des solutions pour réduire les flux”, ajoute-t-il.

      La situation est tendue sur l’île grecque où les habitants se sont mobilisés fin janvier pour s’opposer à l’ouverture de nouveaux camps. Plus récemment, lundi 3 février, une manifestation des migrants à Lesbos contre le durcissement des lois d’asile a viré à l’affrontement avec les forces de l’ordre.


      https://www.huffingtonpost.fr/entry/grece-mur-migrant-srefugies-lesbos-barriere_fr_5e397a4cc5b6ed0033acc5

    • Greece plans to build sea barrier off Lesbos to deter migrants

      Defence ministry says floating barrier will stop migrants crossing from Turkey.

      The Greek government has been criticised after announcing it will build a floating barrier to deter thousands of people from making often perilous sea journeys from Turkey to Aegean islands on Europe’s periphery.

      The centre-right administration unveiled the measure on Thursday, following its pledge to take a tougher stance on undocumented migrants accessing the country.

      The 2.7km-long netted barrier will be erected off Lesbos, the island that shot to prominence at the height of the Syrian civil war when close to a million Europe-bound refugees landed on its beaches. The bulwark will rise from pylons 50 metres above water and will be equipped with flashing lights to demarcate Greece’s sea borders.

      Greece’s defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, told Skai radio: “In Evros, natural barriers had relative [good] results in containing flows,” referring to the barbed-wire topped fence that Greece built along its northern land border with Turkey in 2012 to deter asylum seekers. “We believe a similar result can be had with these floating barriers. We are trying to find solutions to reduce flows.”

      Amnesty International slammed the plan, warning it would enhance the dangers asylum-seekers and refugees encountered as they attempted to seek safety.

      “This proposal marks an alarming escalation in the Greek government’s ongoing efforts to make it as difficult as possible for asylum-seekers and refugees to arrive on its shores,” said Massimo Moratti, the group’s Research Director for Europe.“The plan raises serious issues about rescuers’ ability to continue providing life-saving assistance to people attempting the dangerous sea crossing to Lesbos. The government must urgently clarify the operational details and necessary safeguards to ensure that this system does not cost further lives.”

      Greece’s former migration minister, Dimitris Vitsas, described the barrier as a “stupid idea” that was bound to be ineffective. “The idea that a fence of this length is going to work is totally stupid,” he said. “It’s not going to stop anybody making the journey.”

      Greece has seen more arrivals of refugees and migrants than any other part of Europe over the past year, as human traffickers along Turkey’s western coast target its outlying Aegean isles with renewed vigour. More than 44,000 people are in camps on the outposts designed to hold no more than 5,400 people. Human rights groups have described conditions in the facilities as deplorable. In Moria, the main reception centre on Lesbos, about 140 sick children are among an estimated 19,000 men, women and children crammed into vastly overcrowded tents and containers.

      Amid mounting tensions with Turkey over energy resources in the Mediterranean, Greece fears a further surge in arrivals in the spring despite numbers dropping radically since the EU struck a landmark accord with Ankara to curb the flows in March 2016.

      The prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who trounced his predecessor, Alexis Tsipras, in July partly on the promise to bolster the country’s borders, has accused the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of exploiting the refugee drama as political leverage both in dealings with Athens and the EU. As host to some 4 million displaced Syrians, Turkey has more refugees than anywhere else in the world, with Erdoğan facing mounting domestic pressure over the issue.

      Greek officials, who are also confronting growing outrage from local communities on Aegean islands, fear that the number of arrivals will rise further if, as looks likely, Idlib, Syria’s last opposition holdout falls. The area has come under renewed attack from regime forces in recent days.

      It is hoped the barrier will be in place by the end of April after an invitation by the Greek defence ministry for private contractors to submit offers.

      The project is expected to cost €500,000 (£421,000). Officials said it will be built by the military, which has also played a role in erecting camps across Greece, but with “non-military specifications” to ensure international maritime standards. The fence could extend 13 to 15km, with more parts being added if the initial pilot is deemed successful.

      “There will be a test run probably on land first for technological reasons,” said one official.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/30/greece-plans-to-build-sea-barrier-off-lesbos-to-deter-migrants

    • Schwimmende Barrieren gegen Migranten: Die griechische Regierung will Flüchtlingsboote mit schwimmenden Barrikaden stoppen

      Griechenland denkt über eine umstrittene Methode nach, um die stark wachsende Zahle der Bootsflüchtlinge einzudämmen.

      Die Zahl der Flüchtlinge, die von der türkischen Küste her übers Meer zu den griechischen Ägäis­inseln kommen, steigt derzeit wieder deutlich an. Die Regierung in Athen hat jetzt eine neue Idee vorgestellt, wie sie die Flüchtlingsboote stoppen will: mit schwimmenden Grenzbarrieren mitten auf dem Meer.

      Der griechische Regierungssprecher Stelios Petsas bestätigte gestern die Pläne. Das griechische Verteidigungsministerium hat bereits einen entsprechenden Auftrag zum Bau eines Prototyps ausgeschrieben. Das Pilotprojekt sieht den Bau einer 2,7 Kilometer langen Barriere vor, die 1,10 Meter aus dem Wasser aufragt und 50 bis 60 Zentimeter tief ins Wasser reicht. Der schwimmende Zaun soll mit blinkenden Leuchten versehen sein, damit er in der Dunkelheit sichtbar ist.
      Israel hat Erfahrungen mit Sperranlagen im Meer

      Für den Bau der Sperranlage will das Verteidigungsministerium 500000 Euro bereitstellen. Das Unternehmen, das den Zuschlag bekommt, soll innerhalb von drei Monaten liefern und für vier Jahre die Wartung der Barriere übernehmen. Verteidigungsminister Nikos Panagiotopoulos sagte dem griechischen Fernsehsender Skai, man wolle in einer ersten Phase ausprobieren, «ob das System funktioniert und wo es eingesetzt werden kann».

      Über dem Projekt schweben allerdings viele Fragezeichen. Erfahrungen mit schwimmenden Barrieren hat Israel an den Grenzen zum Gazastreifen und zu Jordanien im Golf von Akaba gemacht. In der Ägäis sind die Bedingungen aber wegen der grossen Wassertiefe, der starken Strömungen und häufigen Stürme viel schwieriger. Schwimmende Barrieren müssten am Meeresboden verankert sein, damit sie nicht davontreiben.

      Fraglich ist auch, ob sich die Schleuser von solchen Sperren abhalten liessen. Sie würden vermutlich auf andere Routen ausweichen. Und selbst wenn Flüchtlingsboote an der Barriere «stranden» sollten, wäre die griechische Küstenwache verpflichtet, die Menschen als Schiffbrüchige zu retten.

      Ohnehin scheint die Regierung daran zu denken, nur besonders stark frequentierte Küstenabschnitte zu sichern. Die gesamte griechisch-türkische Seegrenze von der Insel Samothraki im Norden bis nach Rhodos im Süden mit einem schwimmenden Zaun abzuriegeln, wäre ein utopisches Projekt. Diese Grenze ist über 2000 Kilometer lang. Sie mit einer Barriere dicht zu machen, verstiesse überdies gegen das internationale Seerecht und würde den Schiffsverkehr in der Ägäis behindern. Experten sagen, dass letztlich nur die Türkei die Seegrenze zu Griechenland wirksam sichern kann – indem sie die Flüchtlingsboote gar nicht erst ablegen lässt. Dazu hat sich die Türkei im Flüchtlingspakt mit der EU verpflichtet. Dennoch kamen im vergangenen Jahr 59726 Schutzsuchende übers Meer aus der Türkei, ein Anstieg von fast 84 Prozent gegenüber 2018.

      https://www.luzernerzeitung.ch/international/schwimmende-barrieren-gegen-migranten-ld.1190264

    • EU fordert Erklärungen von Griechenland zu Barriere-Plänen

      Das griechische Verteidigungsministerium will Geflüchtete mit schwimmenden „Schutzsystemen“ vor der Küste zurückhalten. Die EU-Kommission dringt auf mehr Information - sie erfuhr aus den Medien von den Plänen.

      Griechenland will Migranten mit schwimmenden Barrieren in der Ägäis konfrontieren - zu den Plänen des Verteidigungsministeriums sind aber noch viele Fragen offen. Auch die EU-Kommission hat Erklärungsbedarf. „Wir werden die griechische Regierung kontaktieren, um besser zu verstehen, worum es sich handelt“, sagte Behördensprecher Adalbert Jahnz. Die Kommission habe aus den Medien von dem Vorhaben erfahren.

      Jahnz sagte, der Zweck des Vorhabens sei derzeit noch nicht ersichtlich. Klar sei, dass Barrieren dieser Art den Zugang zu einem Asylverfahren verhindern dürften. Der Grundsatz der Nichtzurückweisung und die Grundrechte müssten in jedem Fall gewahrt bleiben. „Ich kann nichts zur Moralität verschiedener Maßnahmen sagen“, fügte Jahnz hinzu. Die Errichtung der Barrieren an sich verstoße nicht gegen EU-Recht.

      Griechenlands Verteidigungsminister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, dessen Ministerium das Projekt ausgeschrieben hat, zeigte sich jedoch nicht sicher, ob der Plan erfolgreich sein kann. Zunächst sei nur ein Versuch geplant, sagte er dem Athener Nachrichtensender Skai. „Wir wollen sehen, ob das funktioniert und wo und ob es eingesetzt werden kann“, sagte Panagiotopoulos.

      Das Verteidigungsministerium hatte die Ausschreibung für das Projekt am Mittwoch auf seiner Homepage veröffentlicht. Die „schwimmenden Schutzsysteme“ sollen knapp drei Kilometer lang sein, etwa 50 Zentimeter über dem Wasser aufragen und mit Blinklichtern ausgestattet sein. Die griechische Presse verglich die geplanten Absperrungen technisch mit den Barrieren gegen Ölteppiche im Meer.
      Was können die Barrieren tatsächlich ausrichten?

      Eigentlich dürften gar keine Migranten illegal auf dem Seeweg von der Türkei nach Griechenland kommen: Die Europäische Union hat mit der Türkei eine Vereinbarung geschlossen, die Ankara verpflichtet, Migranten und ihre Schleuser abzufangen und von Griechenland zudem Migranten ohne Asylanspruch zurückzunehmen.

      Doch nach Angaben des Uno-Flüchtlingshilfswerks UNHCR stieg die Zahl der Migranten, die illegal aus der Türkei nach Griechenland kamen, 2019 von gut 50.500 auf mehr als 74.600. Seit Jahresbeginn 2020 setzen täglich im Durchschnitt gut 90 Menschen aus der Türkei zu den griechischen Ägäis-Inseln über.

      Die Frage ist, ob schwimmende Sperren daran etwas ändern. „Ich kann nicht genau verstehen, wie diese Barrieren die Migranten daran hindern sollen, nach Griechenland zu kommen“, sagte ein Offizier der Küstenwache. Denn wenn die Migranten die Barrieren erreichten, seien sie in griechischen Hoheitsgewässern und müssten gemäß dem Seerecht gerettet und aufgenommen werden.

      Der UNHCR-Sprecher in Athen, Boris Cheshirkov, verweist zudem auf die Pflicht Griechenlands, die Menschenrechte zu achten. Griechenland habe das legitime Recht, seine Grenzen so zu kontrollieren, „wie das Land es für richtig hält“, sagte er. „Dabei müssen aber die Menschenrechte geachtet werden. Zahlreiche Migranten, die aus der Türkei nach Griechenland übersetzen, sind nämlich Flüchtlinge.“

      In Athen wird der Barrierebau auch als innenpolitisches Manöver angesichts der wachsenden Unzufriedenheit über die Entwicklung der Einwanderung gewertet.

      https://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/fluechtlinge-eu-fordert-erklaerungen-von-griechenland-zu-barriere-plaenen-a-

    • Un autre „mur flottant“, à #Gaza...

      Wie Israel tauchende und schwimmende Terroristen abwehrt

      Der Gazastreifen wird mit großem Aufwand weiter abgeriegelt. Die neue Seebarriere ergänzt die Mauer und die Luftabwehr gegen Hamas-Attacken.

      Am Sikim-Strand an Israels Mittelmeerküste, rund 70 Kilometer südlich von Tel Aviv, rollen dieser Tage die Bagger durch den feinen, beigefarbenen Sand. Sie arbeiten nicht an einer Strandverschönerung, sondern an einer Schutzvorrichtung, die Israel sicherer machen soll: eine Meeresbarriere – „die einzige dieser Art auf der Welt“, verkündete Verteidigungsminister Avigdor Lieberman stolz auf Twitter.

      Die neue Konstruktion soll tauchenden und schwimmenden Terroristen aus Gaza den Weg blockieren und aus drei Schichten bestehen: eine unter Wasser, eine aus Stein und eine aus Stacheldraht – ähnlich wie Wellenbrecher. Ein zusätzlicher Zaun soll um diese Barriere errichtet werden. „Das ist eine weitere Präventionsmaßnahme gegen die Hamas, die nun eine weitere strategische Möglichkeit verlieren wird, in deren Entwicklung sie viel Geld investiert hat“, schrieb Lieberman. Man werde die Bürger weiterhin mit Stärke und Raffinesse schützen.

      Tatsächlich ist die Meeresbarriere nicht das erste „raffinierte“ Konstrukt der Israelis, um sich vor Terrorangriffen aus dem Gazastreifen zu schützen. Seit 2011 setzt die Armee den selbst entwickelten Abfangschirm „Iron Dome“ ein, der Raketen rechtzeitig erkennt und noch in der Luft abschießt – zumindest dann, wenn der Flug lange dauert, das heißt das Angriffsziel nicht zu nahe am Abschussort liegt. Für einige Dörfer und Kibbuzim direkt am Gazastreifen bleiben die Raketen weiterhin eine große Gefahr.
      Einsatz von Drachen

      Seit vergangenem Jahr baut Israel auch eine bis tief in die Erde reichende Mauer. Umgerechnet mehr als 750 Millionen Euro kostet dieser Hightechbau, der mit Sensoren ausgestattet ist und Bewegungen auch unterhalb der Erde meldet. In den vergangenen Jahren und Monaten hat die Armee zahlreiche Tunnel entdeckt und zerstört. Dass Terrorgruppen nach Abschluss des Baus noch versuchen werden, unterirdisch vorzudringen, scheint unwahrscheinlich: „Mit dem Bau wird die Grenze hermetisch abgeriegelt“, sagt ein Sicherheitsexperte. Rund zehn der insgesamt 64 Kilometer langen Mauer seien bereits komplett fertiggestellt, bis Anfang kommenden Jahres soll der Bau abgeschlossen sein.

      Nun folgt der Seeweg: Während des Gazakrieges 2014 hatten Taucher der Hamas es geschafft, bewaffnet Israels Küste zu erreichen. Sie wurden dort von den israelischen Streitkräften getötet. Es waren seither wohl nicht die einzigen Versuche, ist Kobi Michael, einst stellvertretender Generaldirektor des Ministeriums für Strategische Angelegenheiten, überzeugt. „Es wurde nicht zwingend darüber berichtet, aber es gab Versuche.“

      Israel reagiert mit neuen Erfindungen auf die verschiedenen Angriffstaktiken der Terroristen in Gaza – doch die entwickeln bereits neue. Es bleibt ein Katz-und-Maus-Spiel. Jüngste Taktik ist der Einsatz von Drachen, die mit Molotowcocktails oder Dosen voller brennendem Benzin ausgestattet werden. Dutzende solcher Drachen wurden während der „Marsch der Rückkehr“-Proteste in den vergangenen zwei Monaten nach Israel geschickt.

      „Das ist eine neue und sehr primitive Art des Terrors“, so Kobi Michael. Aber eben auch eine wirkungsvolle, da Landwirtschaft im Süden eine große Rolle spielt und Israel zudem seine Natur schützen will. „Sie haben es geschafft, bereits Hunderte Hektar Weizenfelder und Wälder in Brand zu stecken.“ Israel setzt nun unter anderem spezielle Drohnen ein, um die brennenden Drachen noch in der Luft zu zerstören. Aber Michael ist sicher, auch hier bedarf es zukünftig eines besseren Abwehrsystems. Der Sicherheitsexperte sieht es positiv: „Sie fordern uns heraus und wir reagieren mit der Entwicklung hochtechnologischer Lösungen.“

      https://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/seebarriere-noerdlich-des-gazastreifens-wie-israel-tauchende-und-schwimmende-terroristen-abwehrt/22617084.html
      #Israël #Palestine

    • La #barrière_maritime israélienne de Gaza est sur le point d’être achevée

      Un mur sous-marin de rochers et de détecteurs surmonté d’une clôture intelligente de 6 mètres de haut et d’un brise-lames comble un vide dans les défenses d’Israël.

      Plus de quatre ans après qu’une équipe de commandos du Hamas est entrée en Israël depuis la mer pendant la guerre de Gaza en 2014, les ingénieurs israéliens sont sur le point d’achever la construction d’une barrière maritime intelligente destinée à prévenir de futures attaques, a rapporté lundi la Dixième chaîne.

      La construction de la barrière de 200 mètres de long a été effectuée par le ministère de la Défense au large de la plage de Zikim, sur la frontière la plus au nord de Gaza. Le travail a duré sept mois.

      La barrière est destinée à combler un vide dans les défenses d’Israël le long de la frontière avec Gaza.

      Sur terre, Israël a une clôture en surface et construit un système complexe de barrières et de détecteurs souterrains pour empêcher le Hamas – l’organisation terroriste islamiste qui dirige Gaza et cherche à détruire Israël – de percer des tunnels en territoire israélien. En mer, la marine israélienne maintient une présence permanente capable de détecter les tentatives d’infiltration dans les eaux israéliennes.

      Mais il y avait une brèche juste au large de la plage de Zikim, dans la zone étroite des eaux peu profondes où ni les forces terrestres ni les navires de mer ne pouvaient opérer facilement.

      Les commandos du Hamas ont profité de cette faille en 2014 pour contourner facilement une clôture vétuste et délabrée et passer en Israël par les eaux peu profondes.

      Les forces du Hamas n’ont été arrêtées que lorsque les équipes de surveillance de Tsahal ont remarqué leurs mouvements lorsqu’elles sont arrivées sur la plage en Israël.

      La barrière est composée de plusieurs parties. Un mur sous-marin de blocs rocheux s’étend à environ 200 mètres dans la mer. A l’intérieur du mur de blocs rocheux se trouve un mur en béton revêtu de détecteurs sismiques et d’autres outils technologiques dont la fonction exacte est secrète.

      Au-dessus de l’eau, le long du côté ouest du mur nord-sud, une clôture intelligente hérissée de détecteurs s’élève à une hauteur de six mètres.

      Du côté est, un brise-lames avec une route au milieu s’étend sur toute la longueur du mur sous-marin.

      La construction a été rapide, bien qu’elle ait été entravée ponctuellement par les attaques du Hamas.

      Lors d’une de ces attaques, un combattant du Hamas a lancé des grenades sur les forces israéliennes qui gardaient les équipes de travail, avant d’être tué par les tirs israéliens en retour.

      https://fr.timesofisrael.com/la-barriere-maritime-israelienne-de-gaza-est-sur-le-point-detre-ac

    • Grèce : un mur flottant pour contrer l’arrivée de migrants

      Pour restreindre l’arrivée de migrants depuis la Turquie, le gouvernement grec vient de lancer un appel d’offres pour la construction, en pleine mer Égée, d’un « système de protection flottant ». Une annonce qui provoque de vives réactions.

      Athènes (Grèce), correspondance.– Depuis les côtes turques, les rivages de Lesbos surgissent après une douzaine de kilomètres de mer Égée. En 2019, ce bras de mer est redevenu la première porte d’entrée des demandeurs d’asile dans l’Union européenne, pour la plupart des Afghans et des Syriens. Mais un nouvel obstacle pourrait bientôt compliquer le passage, sinon couper la voie. À Athènes, le gouvernement conservateur estime détenir une solution pour réduire les arrivées : ériger une barrière flottante anti-migrants.

      Fin janvier, le ministère de la défense a ainsi publié un appel d’offres « pour la fourniture d’un système de protection flottant […] », visant « à gérer […] en cas d’urgence […] le flux de réfugiés et de migrants qui augmente sans cesse ». D’après ce document de 122 pages, le dispositif « de barrage ou filet […] de couleur jaune ou orange », composé de plusieurs sections de 25 à 50 mètres reliées entre elles, s’étendra sur 2,7 km.

      Il s’élèvera « d’au moins » 50 centimètres au-dessus des flots. Et de nuit, la clôture brillera grâce à « des bandes réfléchissantes […] et des lumières jaunes clignotantes ». Son coût estimé : 500 000 euros – dont 96 774 de TVA – incluant « quatre ans d’entretien et la formation du personnel » pour son installation en mer.

      Sollicitées, les autorités n’ont pas donné d’autres détails à Mediapart. Mais l’agence Reuters et les médias grecs précisent que le mur sera testé au nord de Lesbos, île qui a concentré 58 % des entrées de migrants dans le pays en 2019, d’après le Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR).

      Alors que la Grèce compte désormais 87 000 demandeurs d’asile, environ 42 000 (majoritairement des familles) sont bloqués à Lesbos, Leros, Chios, Kos et Samos, le temps du traitement de leur requête. Avec 6 000 places d’hébergement à peine sur ces cinq îles, la situation est devenue explosive (lire notre reportage à Samos).

      « Cela ne peut pas continuer ainsi, a justifié le ministre de la défense nationale, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, le 30 janvier dernier, sur la radio privée Skaï. Il reste à savoir si [ce barrage] fonctionnera. »

      Joint par téléphone, un habitant de Mytilène (chef-lieu de Lesbos), souhaitant garder son anonymat, déclare ne voir dans ce mur qu’un « effet d’annonce ». « Impossible qu’il tienne en mer, les vents sont trop violents l’hiver. Et ce sera dangereux pour les pêcheurs du coin. Ce projet n’est pas sérieux, les autorités turques ne réagissent même pas, elles rigolent ! »

      Pour Amnesty International, il s’agit d’une « escalade inquiétante » ; pour Human Rights Watch, d’un projet « insensé qui peut mettre la vie [des migrants] en danger ».

      L’annonce de ce mur test a non seulement fait bondir les ONG, mais aussi provoqué un malaise au sein de certaines institutions. « Si une petite embarcation percute la barrière et se renverse, comment les secours pourront-ils accéder au lieu du naufrage ? », interroge également la chercheuse Vicky Skoumbi, directrice de programme au Collège international de philosophie de Paris. Selon elle, cette barrière est « contraire au droit international », notamment l’article 33 de la Convention de 1951 sur le statut des réfugiés et le droit d’asile, qui interdit les refoulements. « L’entrave à la liberté de circulation que constitue la barrière flottante équivaut à un refoulement implicite (ou en acte) du candidat à l’asile », poursuit Vicky Skoumbi.

      L’opposition de gauche Syriza, qui moque sa taille (trois kilomètres sur des centaines de kilomètres de frontière maritime), a aussi qualifié ce projet de « hideux » et de « violation des réglementations européennes ».

      Le porte-parole de la Commission européenne, Adalbert Jahnz, pris de court le 30 janvier lors d’un point presse, a par ailleurs déclaré : « L’installation de barrières n’est pas contraire en tant que telle au droit de l’UE […] cependant […] du point de vue du droit de l’[UE], des barrières de ce genre ou obstacles physiques ne peuvent pas rendre impossible l’accès à la procédure d’asile. »

      « Nous suivons le dossier et sommes en contact étroit avec le gouvernement grec », nous résume aujourd’hui Adalbert Jahnz. Boris Cheshirkov l’un des porte-parole du HCR, rappelle surtout à Mediapart que « 85 % des personnes qui arrivent aujourd’hui en Grèce sont des réfugiés et ont un profil éligible à l’asile ».

      Pour justifier son mur flottant, le gouvernement de droite affirme s’inspirer d’un projet terrestre ayant déjà vu le jour en 2012 : une barrière anti-migrants de 12,5 kilomètres de barbelés érigée entre la bourgade grecque de Nea Vyssa (nord-est du pays) et la ville turque d’Édirne, dans la région de l’Évros.

      L’UE avait à l’époque refusé le financement de cette clôture de près de 3 millions d’euros, finalement payée par l’État grec. Huit ans plus tard, le gouvernement salue son « efficacité » : « Les flux [de migrants] ont été réduits à [cette] frontière terrestre. Nous pensons que le système flottant pourrait avoir un impact similaire », a déclaré le ministre de la défense sur Skaï.

      Or pour la géographe Cristina Del Biaggio, maîtresse de conférences à l’université de Grenoble Alpes, ce mur de l’Évros n’a diminué les arrivées que « localement et temporairement » : « Il a modifié les parcours migratoires en les déplaçant vers le nord-est, à la frontière avec la Bulgarie. »

      En réponse, le voisin bulgare a érigé dans la foulée, en 2014, sa propre clôture anti-migrants à la frontière turque. Les arrivées se sont alors reportées sur les îles grecques du Dodécanèse, puis de nouveau dans la région de l’Évros. « En jouant à ce jeu cynique du chat et de la souris, le durcissement des frontières n’a que dévié (et non pas stoppé) les flux dans la région », conclut Cristina Del Biaggio.

      Selon elle, la construction d’une barrière flottante à des fins de contrôle frontalier serait une première. Le fait que ce « projet pilote » émane du ministère de la défense « est symbolique », ajoute Filippa Chatzistavrou, chercheuse en sciences politiques à l’université d’Athènes. « Depuis 2015, la Défense s’implique beaucoup dans les questions migratoires et c’est une approche qui en dit long : on perçoit les migrants comme une menace. »

      Théoriquement, « c’est le ministère de l’immigration qui devrait être en charge de ces projets, a reconnu le ministre de la défense. Mais il vient tout juste d’être recréé… ». Le gouvernement de droite conservatrice l’avait, de fait, supprimé à son arrivée en juillet dernier (avant de faire volte-face), en amorce d’autres réformes dures en matière d’immigration. En novembre, en particulier, une loi sur la procédure d’asile a été adoptée au Parlement, qui prolonge notamment la durée possible de rétention des demandeurs et réduit leurs possibilités de faire appel. Une politique qui n’a pas empêché la hausse des arrivées en Grèce.

      Porte-parole du HCR à Lesbos, Astrid Castelin observe l’île sombrer désormais « dans la haine des réfugiés et l’incertitude ». Reflet de la catastrophe en cours, le camp de Moria, en particulier, n’en finit pas de s’étaler dans les collines d’oliviers. « On y compte plus de 18 000 personnes, dont beaucoup d’enfants de moins de 12 ans, pour 3 000 places, s’inquiète ainsi Astrid Castelin. La municipalité ne peut plus ramasser l’ensemble des déchets, les files d’attente pour les douches ou les toilettes sont interminables. » Le 3 février, la police a fait usage de gaz lacrymogènes à l’encontre de 2 000 migrants qui manifestaient pour leurs droits.

      L’habitant de Lesbos déjà cité, lui, note qu’on parle davantage sur l’île de l’apparition de « milices d’extrême droite qui rôdent près de Moria, qui demandent leurs cartes d’identité aux passants » que du projet de barrage flottant. Le 7 février, en tout cas, la police grecque a annoncé avoir interpellé sept personnes soupçonnées de projeter une attaque de migrants.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/110220/grece-un-mur-flottant-pour-contrer-l-arrivee-de-migrants

    • Floating Anti-Refugee Fence for Greek Island Lesbos Nears Finish

      A 3-kilometer (1.864-mile) floating barrier more than 1 meter (3.28 feet) high designed to keep refugees and migrants from reaching the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos already holding nearly 20,000 is reportedly near completion.

      The project, widely mocked and assailed as unlikely to work and inhumane, was commissioned by the New Democracy government earlier in 2020 as one means to keep the refugees away although patrols by the Greek Coast Guard and European Union border agency Frontex haven’t worked to do that.

      The Greek Ministry of Defence said the project is in its final phase, reported The Brussels Times, the floating fence to be put off the northeast part of Lesbos with no explanation how it would work if boats steer around it.

      The Greek government launched bids on January 29 with the cost of the design, installation and maintenance for four years estimated at 500,000 euros ($560,250) but it wasn’t said who the builder was.

      The project went ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite objections from critics and human rights groups. “This plan raises worrying questions about the possibility of rescuers continuing to provide assistance to people attempting the dangerous crossing of the sea,” Amnesty International said.

      During COVID-19, the numbers of arrival on islands near the coast of Turkey, which has allowed human traffickers to keep sending them during an essentially-suspended 2016 swap deal with the European Union dwindled.

      Turkey is holding about 5.5 million refugees and migrants who fled war and strife in their homelands, especially Afghanistan and Syria’s civil war, but also economic conditions in sub-Saharan Africa and other countries.

      They went to Turkey in hopes of reaching prosperous countries in the EU, which closed its borders to them and reneged on promises to help spread some of the overload, leaving them to go to Greece to seek asylum.

      Since April, only 350 arrived on Lesbos, the paper said, with the notorious Moria detention camp that the BBC called “the worst in the world,” holding nearly 18,000 people in what rights groups said were inhumane conditions.

      Greece has about 100,000 refugees and migrants, including more than 33,000 asylum seekers in five camps on the Aegean islands, with a capacity of only 5,400 people, and some 70,000 more in other facilities on the mainland.

      When the idea was announced, it drew immediate fire and criticism, with the European Union cool to the idea and Germany not even talking about it.

      Amnesty International and other human rights groups piled on against the scheme that was proposed after the government said it would replace camps on islands with detention centers to vet those ineligible for asylum.

      Island officials and residents were upset then, with compassion fatigue setting him even more after trying to deal with a crisis heading into its fifth year. The government said it would move 20,000 to the mainland.

      At the time, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said it was a “positive measure that will help monitor areas close to the Turkish coast,” and the barrier “sends out the message that we are not a free-for-all and that we’re taking all necessary measures to protect the borders.”

      Rights groups said it will increase risks faced by refugees and migrants trying to reach Greek islands in rickety craft and rubber dinghies, many of which have overturned or capsized since 2016, drowning scores of people.

      The barrier will and have lights to make it visible at night, said officials. “The invitation for floating barriers is in the right direction… We will see what the result, what its effect as a deterrent will be in practice,” Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told SKAI Radio.

      “It will be a natural barrier. If it works like the one in Evros, I believe it can be effective,” he said, referring to a cement and barbed-wire fence that Greece set up in 2012 along its northern border with Turkey to keep out migrants and refugees, which hasn’t worked.

      The major opposition SYRIZA condemned the floating barrier plan as “a disgrace and an insult to humanity,” with other reports it would be only 19 inches above water or if it would be visible in rough seas that have sunk boats.

      Adding that the idea was “disgusting,” a SYRIZA statement said the barrier “offends humanity … and violates European and international rules,” said the party, calling the proposal absurd, unenforceable and dangerous. “Even a child knows that in the sea you cannot have a wall.”

      https://www.thenationalherald.com/greece_politics/arthro/floating_anti_refugee_fence_for_greek_island_lesbos_nears_finish-

  • #Rio_Grande_do_Sul (Brésil) : deux #Vidéos à propos de la résistance #Kaingang
    https://fr.squat.net/2019/08/11/rio-grande-do-sul-bresil-deux-videos-a-propos-de-la-resistance-kaingang

    [Deux vidéos réalisées en 2018 par le collectif Catarse. Activez les sous-titres !] Ce projet est né de l´initiative de quelques Kaingang qui pensent qu´il est urgent de raconter l´histoire et le présent de leur difficile lutte pour la terre. Deux films verront le jour : le premier, une biographie du chef politique-spirituel Alcindo Peni Nascimento […]

    #Interviews #Amériques #Brésil

  • A Southwest water dispute reaches the Supreme Court

    Southern New Mexico’s #Mesilla_Valley is like an island: a fertile patchwork of farm fields and groves of pecan trees surrounded by the brown #Chihuahuan Desert.

    For Mesilla Valley farmers, the metaphor rings true in other ways as well. Though they live in New Mexico, the residents of the roughly 90,000-acre-area are caught between their own state and Texas. The Rio Grande water they depend on is not technically New Mexico’s water, but rather part of the water that goes to Texas under the #Rio_Grande_Compact, a treaty ensuring that Texas, New Mexico and #Colorado get their fair share of the river. New Mexico’s delivery obligation to Texas hinges on collecting enough water in #Elephant_Butte_Reservoir, 90 miles from the Texas border and the neighboring Mesilla Valley. Unfortunately, that leaves the farmers downriver in a complicated no-man’s-land of interstate water management.


    https://www.hcn.org/articles/water-a-southwest-water-dispute-between-new-mexico-and-texas-reaches-the-suprem
    #eau #conflit #USA #Etats-Unis #désert_de_Chihuahua #Rio_Grande #barrage_hydroélectrique #Elephant_Butte_Dam #agriculture #Texas #traité #répartition_de_l'eau

  • Mexico Worries That A New Border Wall Will Worsen Flooding

    Mexican engineers believe construction of the border barrier may violate a 47-year-old treaty governing the shared waters of the #Rio_Grande. If Mexico protests, the fate of the wall could end up in an international court.


    http://www.npr.org/2017/04/25/525383494/trump-s-proposed-u-s-mexico-border-wall-may-violate-1970-treaty
    #murs #nature #frontières #barrières_frontalières #eau #inondations

  • Congress may stiff Trump on wall funding

    Congressional Republicans might deliver some more bad news for President Donald Trump, fresh off their embarrassing failure to scrap Obamacare: No new money is coming to build his wall.
    “The border wall is probably not a smart investment,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who proposes funding the wall as part a package legalizing some young undocumented immigrants and beefing up enforcement.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2017/03/border-wall-trump-congress-funding-236561
    #congrès #USA #congress #Etats-Unis #murs #barrières_frontalières #frontières #financement #résistance #Trump

  • Mighty #Rio_Grande Now a Trickle Under Siege

    FABENS, Tex. — On maps, the mighty Rio Grande meanders 1,900 miles, from southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico. But on the ground, farms and cities drink all but a trickle before it reaches the canal that irrigates Bobby Skov’s farm outside El Paso, hundreds of miles from the gulf.


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/13/us/mighty-rio-grande-now-a-trickle-under-siege.html?smid=tw-share
    #eau #rivière