The White Hell
According to Philippe Wyon, co-founder of the Refuge Solidaire in Briançon, 10 to 30 migrants arrive in Briançon every day* from Italy. For many of them, France is an intermediate stage in their exile. In order to avoid the police patrols that have multiplied along the border, they walk for several hours, orienting themselves with their smartphones, through the passes of the Hautes Alpes. A risky crossing during which many refugees get lost in the middle of winter in the snowy mountains and their avalanche paths. On December 27, a group of 7 people set out from the town of Clavière in Italy. Originally from Algeria, Morocco and Afghanistan and aged between 23 and 55, they had already undertaken this crossing and had each time been turned back by the French police. For nearly five hours, the group struggled through coniferous forests before attracting the attention of the police as they approached the French ski resort of Montgenèvre, the first stop before heading to Briançon.