Mary Elizabeth Deufirst vice president of the Government of Ceuta, attended her appointment with the city’s Investigating Court number 2, supported by the president of Ceuta, John Jesus Alive (PP). His support is the least he can give his number two, who is facing a complaint from the Prosecutor’s Office for a continued crime of prevarication. Everything is due to the illegal returns to Morocco of dozens of unaccompanied minors last summer. Three months had passed since that border and diplomatic crisis with Morocco that left Ceuta scattered with people — more than a thousand of them, children alone — who irregularly crossed the breakwaters with the complacency of the Alaouite kingdom.
Vivas has already tried to exculpate Deu on several occasions, also Minister of the Presidency and Institutional Relations of Ceuta. “If anyone is responsible, it’s me.. I urged the application of the agreement with Morocco, I was perfectly informed of the actions that were being carried out and I authorized all the actions, “he said last June, when Deu’s accusation became known.
“We were wrong in good faith,” he added cheers. But the summary of the case of these returns indicates that there was no error, but that the Government of Ceuta and also the central government were fully aware that the return process that began to be applied with more than 50 minors returned in the middle of August weekend It did not comply with the provisions of the law at all.
This was recognized by the person in charge of children of the autonomous city, Antony Palomowho warned the Prosecutor’s Office in an email that the procedure they were about to launch it was not “in accordance with national, European and international legislation”. Even so, it was done, until several NGOs managed to get a judge to paralyze them as a precautionary measure. The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, had to travel to Ceuta that August to meet urgently with Vivas and look for a “plan b” for the procedure that, in reality, had been concocted by the department of Fernando Grande-Marlaska.
More than a year after the crisis, most of the unaccompanied minors who entered Ceuta are no longer here, but the consequences of managing that serious crisis are still very present, both for Deu and for the Government Delegate in the city, savior matthew. She should also have declared as under investigation, but yesterday it was agreed to postpone her appearance due to health problems.
Deu has declared alone, for about 90 minutes in which, as she has briefly told the press, she has reaffirmed her words before the Prosecutor’s Office during the investigation, last December. things were done this way generated emergency situation and because he was counted on approval of the central governmentwith whom he maintained contact through the Ministry of the Interior (which was the one who negotiated the returns with Morocco and gave the green light for the returns of children to begin), to those of Inclusion, Social Emergency and the Vice Presidency, then held by Carmen Calvo .
Everyone was aware of it and it seemed good to everyone to ignore the complex and guaranteed repatriation procedure for unaccompanied foreign minors dictated by the Immigration Law. There was no room for so many homeless minors in a city with so few resources. And it was true, but the process did not meet any of the points stipulated by law; not even with the bilateral repatriation agreement invoked for this purpose, which had never been used since it was signed in 2013 and which clearly indicated that any return of minors must comply with Spanish law, the norms and principles of international law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations.
“Everything was decided by the Government”
The Ceuta vice president has not responded to the questions of the popular accusations, according to Rafael Escudero, director of the obscure Spanish Immigration Network, who joined the complaint by the association L’Escola AC, which gave rise to the investigation of the prosecution.
According to Escudero, Deu has insisted that “everything was decided by the central government” and that the vice president of Ceuta has recorded the communications carried out both by telephone and through emails and WhatsAppwhich has been brought to the knowledge of the judge.
The Government delegate could testify next week before the judge
This “is a criminal procedure, not an administrative one, and the person who protected [en relación al Gobierno ceutí] and the one who should have followed the procedure [en referencia al Gobierno central]”, added Squire.
It is possible that the declaration of the Government delegate in Ceuta will take place next week. Until then it will not be known whether the investigating judge will accept the appearance of other witnesses involved in the repatriations requested by the Public Ministry. Specifically, the appearances of the Chief of Staff and the General Secretary of the Government Delegation in Ceuta, Juan Hernández and Ismael Kasrou; of the head of Minors of the City, Antonia Palomo; the General Director of General Affairs of the local administration, Francisco Pérez Hita; the president of the Raíces Foundation, Lourdes Reyzábal; the lawyers Patricia Fernández, Paloma García and Rafael Cid [quienes recurrieron y paralizaron las devoluciones en agosto de 2021]; of the chief inspector of the National Police at the border at the time of the expulsions, and of the then coordinator of the NGO SAMU, who conducted interviews with minors housed in the ‘Santa Amelia’ sports center, among whom the most of 50 minors returned.
Both Mateo and Deu insisted in their statements in the investigation phase that the interviews and individual reports of the minors had been carried out, necessary to undertake the return process, something for which they hired the NGO Save The Children, among others.
However, the reports made by this organization were only a first survey that should help the Ceuta Minors area and the Government Delegation to define what was the best interest of each minor. However, the Government delegate always publicly stated that the best thing for the children was to return to their families, something that Morocco had guaranteed would happen in the event of their return.
According to reports from Save The Children, most of the cases studied presented vulnerable profiles for whom repatriation was not recommended. Among them, there were numerous cases of physical violence, abuse or mistreatment, persecution due to sexual orientation, forced marriage and rejection by one’s own family.