The Prosecutor’s Office archives the investigation into the death of 23 migrants at the Melilla border on June 24

The Public Ministry does not see evidence of crime in the actions of the Civil Guard agents

MADRID, 23 (.)

The prosecutor of the Immigration Coordinating Chamber, Beatriz Sánchez, has issued a decree this Friday by which she archives the investigation proceedings that she kept alive on the events that occurred on the Melilla border on June 24, in which 23 people died. She indicates that she does not see evidence of crime in the actions of the agents of the State Security Corps and Forces.

However, it notifies the Deputy Director of Operations of the Civil Guard of the actions of several agents who threw stones at migrants who were trying to enter Spain as if it constituted a disciplinary offence.

The 36-page prosecutor’s decree begins by recalling that her work sought to clarify the facts “consisting of an irregular entry attempt by migrants of sub-Saharan origin, through the massive and violent leaping of the border fence that separates Melilla from Morocco, in during which 23 people were killed”.

After recalling all the procedures carried out, including a visit to the area of ​​the tragedy, at the door of the Chinatown, Sánchez begins to assess the legal grounds whether the Spanish agents could have committed a crime of reckless homicide.


In this sense, it asserts that, based on what was investigated, the Civil Guard agents involved who were in the exercise of their duties could not “avoid the harmful result” because “they were not aware, nor could they be, of the risk that was being generating inside the patio” –place of the avalanche–.

“Therefore, it was difficult for them to consider the possibility of adopting measures to avoid what dramatically happened. None of them was in the place where the avalanche occurred, they could not foresee in advance that it was going to occur in the terms in which they It finally turned out, as they did not have visibility of the area or having been informed of the events that were taking place,” he stresses.

The prosecutor also refers to the civil guards who made up the helicopter team to explain that they did not notify the ground operatives “by not realizing the risk posed by the crowd of people.” She points out that even if they had done so, this action “could not have prevented the traffic jam and deaths from occurring, especially considering the large number of people who tried to enter Spain by breaking the border.”

In line, the prosecutor recalls that “the stress” of the moment cannot be ignored, and that the events that triggered the tragedy occurred quickly. She adds that it was something unforeseen, and that the agents were trying to prevent the entry of a thousand migrants “through an unusual place, since there had never been jumps through a border crossing before.”

On the other hand, it affirms that from viewing the images it cannot be concluded that the actions of the agents increased the risk to the legally protected asset, in this case the life and physical integrity of the migrants. And that if they had foreseen that the massive jump could take place “it would be difficult for them to have carried out any action that would have prevented it” -not even opening the border gates, he adds-.

In fact, the prosecutor asserts that if they had chosen to open the doors so that the migrants had a way out, a funnel would have been produced that “would have endangered the physical integrity and lives of the agents, who could have been seen overwhelmed by the avalanche itself”.


Regarding the possibility that the agents had committed a crime of omission of relief, the prosecutor points out that they were unaware of the avalanche “so at no time could they imagine the possibility that there were people at risk who required their help”.

He also does not see a crime in the helicopter crew because they were not aware of the “collapse” situation and therefore did not raise the alarm to the ground agents. “Although they saw the tumult, the crisis situation in the area, the stress and the poor quality of the images they received made them not realize the seriousness of the events. In addition, in the moments after the avalanche, when stop focusing on the area (…), they did not appreciate and could not appreciate the existence of injuries and deaths,” he adds.

And add to this that, even if they had been aware of the seriousness of the events, they would not have been able to help them without their own risk, since to enter the place where the riot had taken place they had to take a relatively long route along which there were numerous migrants throwing blunt objects”.

The prosecutor also evaluated in her decree whether the response of the agents to the jump was proportionate, and recalls that according to reports from the Civil Guard, they used their defenses and other approved riot control and crowd control elements, such as salutes, smoke devices, tear gas , rubber balls and self defense sprays.

And it concludes that except for the agents who threw stones, “the components of the operation maintained at all times a conduct proportional to the seriousness of the events that were taking place.”


Regarding the rejections at the border, the prosecutor recalls that 470 were carried out and that the Civil Guard agents who carried out the returns did so “in compliance and in the exercise of their functions, in application of the provisions of the Immigration Law and based on the powers that legally
are attributed to avoid serious, immediate and irreparable damage, such as the violent, massive and uncontrolled attack on a Spanish border”.

In her filing decree, the prosecutor recalls that she has carried out various procedures such as visual inspection, taking statements from both migrants and agents, the analysis of various reports, videographic material, and audios. And she adds that the only official data on the deaths and their causes are those provided by the Moroccan authorities in the report issued at the request of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Thus, it emphasizes that it is the Moroccan authorities that have all the evidence –bodies of the deceased, witnesses, injured migrants, etc–, and that from their inquiries they have been able to verify that the actions of the migrants, between 700 and 800 people, “was hostile and violent at all times, both towards the Moroccan agents and towards the Spanish”.

Despite closing the investigation, the prosecutor notifies the ministries involved of their obligation to implement the necessary measures to guarantee that migrants have real possibilities of applying for a visa, international protection or asylum at the Spanish diplomatic or consular offices in the countries of origin or transit, as well as at the border posts of Ceuta and Melilla.

“In order to ensure that migrants who try to enter our country by jumping the fence have previously been able to choose to go to the legally established system,” he adds, to clarify that the majority of migrants come from countries in conflict and, therefore, they are deserving of international protection.

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