PHOTOS: Smugglers Declare Nothing Will Stop Migrants Desperate for a Better Life

Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi, via Reuters
Argiris Mantikos/Eurokinissi, via Reuters

People in war-torn countries such as Libya and Syria are desperate to escape, including spending all their money to hitch a ride on unsafe boats across the Mediterranean. Over 400 people allegedly died when a boat capsized near Libya. VICE News posted some of the more dramatic photos, but there are many more.


French President Francois Hollande announced on Thursday that he will seek United Nations authorization for a resolution that will allow the European Union to destroy the smuggling vessels.

Smugglers in Libya who profit from human trafficking, interviewed following Hollande’s announcement, appeared unimpressed. They vowed the destruction of boats will not stop anyone from crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

“Even if the EU threatens to strike our properties, destroy our boats, the issue will not stop,” claimed a smuggler known as Abu Ahmed. “We are not the problem. The migrants themselves are desperate to cross. Some of them, particularly the Syrians, have started buying their own boats and making the journey alone without our help. You can’t stop them.”

Even the Libyan government, controlled by Libya Dawn, lashed out at the possibility of the EU destroying their boats.

“Taking out boats without our permission would be considered a declaration of war against Libya,” exclaimed Abdel-Qader Huweily, a prominent Libya Dawn parliamentarian. “Our government rejects the interference of a foreign country on our shores.”