Explore this interactive project via the embedded frame below, or at this link.

The biggest loss of life at a European land border in living memory occurred this year and it was barely reported at the time. On June 24, 2022 at least 23 people died and 77 remain missing after a group of African asylum seekers attempted to enter a border post in Melilla, a Spanish exclave on the coast of North Africa.

Despite the appalling death toll, serious questions remain unanswered by Spain and Morocco over what happened. Spain continues to deny that any deaths took place on its territory and has given only a partial account of its role despite having at least two sources of aerial footage documenting the events that unfolded on the day.

The lack of sustained and independent reporting on the day of chaos and death has so far prevented any serious shortcomings in the countries’ accounts from coming to light. EL PAÍS, Lighthouse Reports and partners undertook the most advanced visual investigation to date to establish fully what happened at the border post and how an attempt to seek protection in Europe led so many people to a violent death.