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Map of the Ahucemas Islands
The Ahucemas Islands
Peñón de Alhucemas, viewed from the Moroccan coast
Spanish Possessions in North Africa.

Peñón de Alhucemas (Spanish pronunciation: [peˈɲon de aluˈθemas], "Lavender Rock") is one of the Spanish plazas de soberanía just off the Moroccan coast in the Alboran Sea. It is also one of several peñones, or rock-fortresses, on the coast of Northern Africa.


Peñón de Alhucemas, together with the islets of "Isla de Mar" and "Isla de Tierra" slightly to the west, form the Alhucemas Islands. They are located 300 metres (984 feet) off the Moroccan town of Al Hoceima, or Alhucemas (former Villa Sanjurjo), 146 km (91 miles) east of Ceuta and 84 km (52 miles) west of Melilla. The aggregate land area of the group of three islands is 4.6 ha or 0.046 square kilometres (0.018 sq mi).

Spanish family on a street of the peñón c. 1915

Spanish rule dates back to 1559, when Saadi dynasty ceded several territories to Spain in exchange for Spanish help against Ottoman armies. In 1673, Spain sent a garrison to the island of Peñón de Alhucemas, and has permanently occupied it since then. The islands are also located near the landing place the Spanish and French expeditionary forces used in 1925 during the Rif War. Morocco has contested Spanish sovereignty over the islets since Morocco received its independence in 1956.

In 2012 the Spanish military garrison in the fort on Peñón de Alhucemas comprised an infantry section of 25-30 men from the 32nd Mixed Artillery Regiment, plus personnel from the marine services with an inflatable boat for reaching supply vessels.[1] On 29 August 2012, 19 sub-Saharan immigrants traversed the short expanse of water between Morocco and the Isla de Tierra.[1] These individuals camped on the island, hoping to somehow gain access into the Spanish mainland. They were shortly joined by an additional 68 immigrants on September 2, 2012.[2] Refugees and illegal immigration from sub-Saharan nations has been a problem that Spain, and the European Union as a whole, has been trying to solve.

Since the islets had an "undefined internal status", the immigrants did not benefit from the Spanish immigration laws and, under a joint operation, Spanish troops tended to the women, children, and medical needs of the immigrants, then turned them back over to Morocco.[1] Moroccan forces promptly deported the individuals across the Algerian border. The Spanish Army has since stationed a small camp on the Isla de Tierra to discourage new attempts to illegally cross into Spanish territory.[3] The handling and deportation of these individuals have been criticized by the Ombudsman of the Spanish Parliament, the Defensor del Pueblo, and by various NGOs and organizations.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Ceberia, Monica et al (17 September 2012) The last remains of the empire El Pais in English, Retrieved 24 September 2012
  2. ^ Ceberio Balaza, Monica, et al (7 September 2012) 81 inmigrantes tratan de forzar su entrada en España por Isla de Tierra (81 immigrants try to force entrance into Spain via the Isla de Tierra) El Pais Politica (in Spanish), Retrieved 24 September 2012
  3. ^ Ceberio Balaza, Monica (7 September 2012) El Ejército ‘ocupa’ Isla de Tierra (The army "occupies" Isla de Tierra El Pais Politica (in Spanish), Retrieved 24 September 2012
  4. ^ Diez, Anabel et al (6 Sep 2012) La Defensora pide aclaraciones a Interior por la entrega de inmigrantes a Marruecos (The Ombudsman asks for clarification from the Interior Ministry concerning the delivery of immigrants to Morocco) El Pais Politica (in Spanish), Retrieved 24 September 2012

Coordinates: 35°12′49″N 3°53′22″W / 35.2135°N 3.8895°W / 35.2135; -3.8895

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peñón_de_Alhucemas — Please support Wikipedia.
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333 news items


Tue, 18 Dec 2012 03:40:48 -0800

Helicopter at Penon de Alhucemas - Spanish island in Africa - Duration: 1:07. markpanama 7,278 views. 1:07. La Guardia Civil desaloja, de nuevo, la Isla de Tierra - Duration: 1:06. cerestv.es 1,068 views. 1:06. Isla de Alborán 1 - Duration: 7:22 ...


Fri, 21 Dec 2012 01:19:14 -0800

Como parte de una serie de vídeos dedicada a los «Islotes españoles en la costa africana», el Ejécito de Tierra ha emitido, en su canal oficial en «Youtube», sendos vídeos sobre el Peñón de Alhucemas y el Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, «pedazos de la ...

Te Interesa

El País.com (España)
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 02:49:35 -0700

El 19 de agosto, un grupo de 41 inmigrantes subsaharianos —seis mujeres y dos menores, entre ellos— lograron acceder al Peñón de Alhucemas en una lancha motor. La embarcación quedó a la deriva a tan solo 700 metros de la costa marroquí. En ese ...

El País.com (España)

El País.com (España)
Sat, 08 Sep 2012 17:38:53 -0700

Hubo un tiempo fausto, hace ya casi un siglo, en el que en el peñón de Alhucemas los comercios eran numerosos y, cuando se abrían las puertas de la plazafuerte, los rifeños entraban para vender gallinas, huevos, frutas y verduras, cebada y carbón.

La Razón

La Razón
Wed, 23 Jun 2010 19:32:32 -0700

MADRID- El Peñón de Alhucemas, a 300 metros de la costa marroquí y a 80 kilómetros de Melilla, es uno de los territorios españoles frente al país magrebí. En sus 15.000 metros cuadrados alberga una guarnición militar, formada por regulares o ...


Fri, 01 Nov 2013 08:18:11 -0700

Llivia (a Spanish enclave in France, also including a second enclave in the northwest, not far from it). North of Morocco: Ceuta. Islas Chafarinas. Melilla. Peñón de Alhucemas. Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera. Isla Perejil (Parsley island)Note: these six ...

Huffington Post UK

Huffington Post UK
Thu, 08 Aug 2013 12:08:14 -0700

The Peñón de Alhucemas is an island located 350 meters (not miles) from the Moroccan coast. This island has a perimeter slightly smaller in size than London's Olympic stadium. As of 2012 it was home to 30 soldiers of Spain's 32nd Mixed Artillery Regiment.

China Daily

China Daily
Tue, 06 Nov 2012 18:29:25 -0800

This is the problem faced by nations across the world, whether it is the Falklands/Malvinas dispute between the UK and Argentina, Peñón de Alhucemas disputed by Spain and Morocco, the Shatt al-Arab (Iran/Iraq), and up to 200 others as listed in Wikipedia.

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