A woman has died at a stampede at one of the entrance gates of the Bab Sebta crossing between Morocco and the Spanish enclave in the north of the country.
The woman, who carried goods across the border, was transferred to Fnideq hospital but died four days later. An investigation is currently being carried out into her death.
Everyday women known as the mule women of Melilla or porteadoras, carry heavy loads across the border between the Spanish enclave and Morocco. If the goods are carried into North Africa they are classed as personal luggage and are duty-free. The goods are anything from second-hand clothes, fabric and toiletries.
There has been debate about whether this trade should continue as the safety of cargo holders working at the border post has long been questionable. There have been a number of deaths as a result of the physical labour – less than a month ago another woman was trampled to death there.
In February Sebta’s authorities reinforced the rules around working conditions at the border post, placing restrictions on the weight and dimensions of parcels and a maximum quota of 4,000 carriers a day but it has not been enough to prevent further deaths.