The ‘Mule Women’ of Morocco


Recently the spotlight of world news was and still is on the thousands of migrants waiting in Greece or Eastern European countries to be admitted in the European Eldorado. Many of them come from Syria, escaping war and the persecution to which they are subjected from the inhuman Assad regime and ferocious ISIS. Among, them, however, there are thousands of economic refugees from Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, in search of better life opportunities: economic refugees.

At a different European “border” checkpoint, there are hundreds of poor Moroccan women of Amazigh (Berber) background waiting every morning to enter the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Mellila to be used as mules porteadoras to transport huge bales of contraband goods into Moroccan territory to be sold in markets all over the country.

According to the New York Times, the city of Melilla alone sells the equivalent of $300 million a year in this cross-border “dirty trade” and this keeps this city afloat economically and justifies the silence of the Spanish government on this gross exploitation of the women of Morocco.