At Least 17 Haitian Migrants Dead After Shipwreck in the Bahamas


Seventeen people died after a boat carrying dozens of Haitian immigrants shipwrecked off the coast of the Bahamasauthorities said Sunday, as more Haitians try to reach the United States to flee gang violence and poverty at home.

Rescue teams recovered 17 bodies, including a baby, and 25 people were rescued, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis told a news conference. Davis added that authorities believe they were on a speedboat headed to Miami.

“It is believed that the boat capsized in rough seas,” he said.

As many as 60 people may have been on board and more people are presumed missing, Police Commissioner Clayton Fernander said.

Bahamian authorities said two people were detained, both from the Bahamas, for the alleged people smuggling operation. All those recovered dead or alive or still missing on board are believed to have been emigrants from Haiti.

Bahamian police said the boat capsized about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from New Providence Island.

The Bahamas are a frequent transit route for Haitians who want to reach the United States. Dangerous sea voyages in rickety boats have become increasingly common in the last year.

Immigration Minister Keith Bell said survivors said they had paid between $3,000 and $8,000 for the trip.

We mourn the lost lives of those who seek a better lifeBell said. “Those who are here with families and friends in Haiti, encourage your loved ones not to risk their lives”

In May, a boat carrying 842 Haitian migrants bound for the United States veered off course and instead reached Cuba’s north coast.

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That same month, 11 people drowned when a boat carrying Haitian migrants capsized near Puerto Rico.


Reference-aristeguinoticias.com

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