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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 several territories belonging to the Saadi dynasty were given to Spain in exchange for help in defending it against Ottoman armies. In 1673, Spain sent a garrison to the island of Peñón de Alhucemas, and it has been permanently occupied since. The islands are also located near the landing place used by the Spanish and French expeditionary forces 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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

137 news items

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

Canal Oficial del Ejército de Tierra en Youtube. Category. News & Politics. License. Standard YouTube License. Show more. Show less. All Comments (7). Add a public comment... Comment failed to post. Cancel Post. Top comments. Top comments; Newest ...
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 ...
El País.com (España)
Thu, 30 Aug 2012 02:49:35 -0700

Además del Peñón de Alhucemas y de la Isla de Tierra, que se ubica a entre 10 y 30 metros de la costa marroquí, dependiendo de la pleamar, hay un tercer islote, la Isla de Mar, también deshabitado. Este pequeño archipiélago, a 92 kilómetros al oeste de ...
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
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 ...
Tue, 21 Aug 2012 09:56:54 -0700

La Guardia Civil ha detenido y trasladado al puerto de Almería esta madrugada a 19 varones adultos de origen subsahariano que viajaban a bordo de una embarcación que fue detectada después de que arribar al Peñón de Alhucemas, de soberanía ...

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.


Sat, 28 Jun 2014 05:16:18 -0700

Metidos ya en verano, recurro a unos antiguos vídeos del Ejército de Tierra (diciembre de 2012) para mostrar algunas pinceladas sobre tres territorios españoles custodiados por militares en la costa africana y frente a Marruecos: el peñón de Alhucemas, ...

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