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Three months after the sinking of a migrant ship, investigation into the tragedy of Cutro

The coffins of victims of the sinking of the “Summer Love” stored in the Palasport of Crotone, in Calabria (Italy), on February 28, 2023.

Thursday 1er June in the afternoon, the Carabinieri carried out searches at the regional command of the Coast Guard and the Guardia di finanza (customs police) of Calabria. It was on the shores of this region of southern Italy, more precisely in Cutro, a seaside resort, that on February 26, the summerlove, migrant ship in sinking, broke a few meters from the shore, causing the death of 94 people including 35 minors. Three senior Guardia di finanza officials were formally charged on 1er June, accused of not having prevented the tragedy. “There will be a trial for the sinking of Cutro”, welcomes Francesco Verri, one of the lawyers for the families of the victims. The state has clear responsibilities, the prosecutor’s office in Crotone will establish them and bring the culprits before the judge”, he wants to believe.

How can we explain that the boat, detected on the evening of February 25 by Frontex, the European agency for coast guards and border guards, while it was still 70 kilometers from the Italian coast, was not subject to of a rescue operation only six hours later?

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“No emergency communication has been issued by Frontex” defended herself, on March 4, Giorgia Meloni before rebelling: “Do any of you really think that the Italian government could have saved the lives of sixty people, including that of a child of around 3 years old whose body was just found today , and he didn’t? »

After several months of investigation, The worldits partners at Lighthouse Reports,El País, from Sky News, from Domani and Suddeutsche Zeitung, are able to establish the exact circumstances of this sinking, thanks to confidential documents, supported by the testimonies of about twenty survivors and the analysis of exclusive videos, which contradict the version of the Italian government. According to our information, as early as February 25, the day before the sinking, Rome was aware of elements which should have led to the triggering of relief. Among these clues, the presence of migrants on board, the probable overload of the boat added to the weather conditions. Contacted by The worldneither the coast guard, nor the customs, nor the office of the Italian Prime Minister responded to our requests for interviews.

“Boats carrying refugees, asylum seekers and migrants are invariably overloaded and unsuitable for a long journey, especially if the sea is roughestablishes a recommendation of the European Court of Human Rights in 2019. It follows that they should be considered as vessels in distress as soon as they leave their point of departure. » “If we apply this rule to our case, it seems obvious that Italy has violated this European recommendation”accuses lawyer Francesco Verri.

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