A 27-year-old Moroccan was killed on Thursday in a fire that destroyed the cabin in which he was staying, near a cemetery in Lepe (province of Huelva) in Spain. His death highlighted the inhumane and deeply unjust conditions in which thousands of foreign workers live to provide Spaniards with locally produced fruit and vegetables at competitive prices.
One more death is added to the many that have all concerned foreign workers in Spain, who have come to plow Spanish land and pick fruit and vegetables for many hours under the sun, with their backs bent.
The death of Mohamed Alam, a 27-year-old Moroccan, is the death of a family that has lost a son to the mistreatment of Spanish farmers and Madrid’s ostrich policy, which turns a blind eye to these dating practices. from too long ago.
The inanimate and charred body of the young man was recorded early in the morning, according to sources from the Association of New Citizens for Interculturality (ASNUCI). The authorities are aware of this problem, the emergencies of the region which recorded this death, are a service attached to the Ministry of the Presidency, Public Administration and the Interior of the Council.
The fire, whose origin is not yet known for the moment, affected a cabin where Mohamed Allam lived, with 5 other foreign workers near a cemetery. They were in all 4 Moroccans and 2 Senegalese.
A Moroccan was burned in the hands and legs in the fire, while another Moroccan was already working at 7 a.m. at the time of the events, while the other tenants of the hut (1 Moroccan and 2 Senegalese) took the flee at the sight of the flames.
The Spanish firefighters indicated that no other unsanitary dwellings were affected by the flames.
“Mohamed Alam, 27, from Morocco. Rest in peace. The slums and hidden face of agriculture in Huelva are coming back to life after yesterday’s fire! tweeted the ASNUCI association.
“His death could have been avoided. Eradicating settlements with dignified and safe alternatives is possible, all you need is a strong will to do it,” she said.
🙏🏿 Mohamed Alam, 27 years old and natural from Marruecos. Descansa en paz 🕯
Los asentamientos chabolistas y la cara occulta de la agricultura onubense se cobran una nueva vida tras el incendio de ayer! pic.twitter.com/qTv3R1uYTM
— ASNUCI (@asnuci) April 22, 2022
“One more death, in which we have all failed: from the employer-exploiter, to the labor inspectorate, to the city council, to immigration laws, to the consumer. Enough #RegulationNow #RightsForAll,” wrote Spanish journalist Laura Luiz.
“Yesterday Mohamed Allam died, he was working as a seasonal worker in Huelva, burned in the fire of the colony where he lived. Precarious work and institutional racism kill. And the dead always fall on the same side,” lamented lawyer Patricia Fdez Vicens in a tweet. “Precarious living, precarious work, dying charred,” she added.
“His name was Mohamed Allam, Moroccan, a kid who lived in poverty in a hut with 5 others. Yesterday at 7am 1 was working, 4 were able to flee and today Mohamed can no longer call his mother to say hello. If you are outraged by this image, you should be outraged by these conditions, ”tweeted the anti-racist collective RegularizacionYa Cuenta which works for the rights of migrants.
Se llamaba Mohamed Alam, marroquí, a horse that malvivia en una chabola con otros 5.
Ayer a las 7 de la mañana 1 estaba trabajando, 4 pudieron huir y Mohamed hoy ya no puede llamar a su madre a saludarla.
If you indigna esta imagen, debería indignarte estas condiciones 🧵 pic.twitter.com/Z4BxWaBhqt
— ✳️ RegularizacionYa Cuenta Oficial (@RegularizacionY) April 22, 2022
“There is a lack of political will to improve the conditions of migrants who struggle to survive by working in the fields”, denounced a Spanish Internet user by sharing the image of the remains of the charred hut.
And to estimate that “the specialty of institutions (is to be) at the service of employers”. “May the earth be light to Mohamed Allam and all my support, strength and love to his people,” she added.
The foreign workers, employed by the Spaniards in the fields, live in deplorable conditions, are underpaid and do not earn enough to house themselves. In addition, they experience racism from the inhabitants who refuse to rent accommodation to them because of their origin, preferring to see them outside the cities. They find themselves forced to seek refuge in tents or prefabricated huts in uninhabited areas such as cemeteries.
“For 2 years we have DENOUNCED that there are empty houses, which are not rented because of prejudice and racism”, tweeted the collective RegularizacionYa Cuenta.
Several Spaniards have become aware of the drama experienced by these thousands of foreign workers, who cannot be defended by their country of origin since they are on Spanish soil. But at the same time, the Iberian authorities turn a blind eye to their exploitation.
“The fruits and vegetables that we eat, the exploitation and the inhuman conditions that do not move this society, selective, hierarchical, selfish and hypocritical”, denounced a surfer.
The Spanish government is aware of and knows about this phenomenon. At a time when the Spanish farmers’ unions campaign punctually against competition from Moroccan products on the Spanish market, which are supposedly cheaper than Spanish products, they never mention that they use the labor of foreign workers whom they underpay and that they push to live in inhuman conditions, without paying them compensation, without a work contract and without paying social charges as they would have done with Spanish workers, and that they produce fruit and vegetables in human abuse .
One more death is added to the many scandals of workers in the Huelva region, between abuse and rape suffered by foreign workers and who find themselves in a foreign country, not speaking the local language and unable to defend themselves .
Foreign workers in Huelva are victims of an unequal and racist system that allows the Spaniards to be fed with “Made in Spain” at low prices but at the cost of health, the distress of human beings and the destruction of families.
“Now you can get very cheap strawberries. We buy strawberries and other products knowing how they are produced”, denounced another Spanish citizen, criticizing the lack of awareness and empathy and calling for everyone to work and live in the same conditions.
According to the Poder migrante website, Spain has 49 slum colonies, made up of unsanitary huts where at least 5,000 people of foreign nationality live, mostly Africans. European foreign workers (Bulgarians, Romanians, Ukrainians, Poles) have the possibility of housing (normally at the expense of the farmer), and earn more than Africans.
In October 2019, the largest immigrant settlement in the province of Huelva was reduced to ashes, still next to the Lepe cemetery. Such an event has already happened almost thirty times.