Miami News

5 Haitian migrants drowned, and over 60 were rescued in another tragic Puerto Rico boat incident

The tragedy is another that illustrates the plight of Haitian migrants amid the quickly escalating political situations in the country

Around 68 Haitian migrants were pulled to safety, while 5 perished on July 28 after being dumped off an uninhabited island west of Puerto Rico by an unidentified human smuggling boat, according to sources.

Haitian migrants have been fleeing the northern Caribbean in increasing numbers throughout the northern Caribbean. This is mainly due to a rise in gang-related crimes and Haiti's worsening political and economic problems.

About the Haitian migrants incident

U.S. Customs and Border Protection alerted the San Juan Coast Guard control center at 8:36 a.m. Park rangers in Puerto Rico were patrolling Isla de Mona, a sliver of land sandwiched between Puerto Rico and Hispaniola when they reported seeing what they believed to be migrants in a boat. Smugglers frequently use Isla de Mona as a drop-off point for undocumented immigrants, mainly those from the Dominican Republic and Haiti, who want to enter the U.S.

The U.S. Coast Guard's Ricardo Castrodad informed The Associated Press that no other passengers had gone missing. More than 40 men and 25 women, and two children were able to make it out of the tragedy unscathed, according to the coast guard.

Houses near a beach in Haiti.

What's happening in Puerto Rico?

Haitians make up a significant chunk of Miami's diverse communities. The country has been in turmoil for over a year now since the assassination of President Jovenel Mose on July 7, 2021. Gangs are gaining power, causing an increasing number of Haitians to leave their homeland.

In Port-au-Prince, turf disputes are escalating, and officials have blamed gangs for burning down a courthouse and a church. Gang fighting in the surrounding Cite Soleil slum has claimed the lives of over 470 people who have either been murdered, maimed, or gone missing.

According to the humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders, the number of people who stray bullets have struck has increased significantly. There were over 80 gunshot wounds in one of its emergency centers, an overwhelming proportion of which were stray bullets. According to the charity, several residents cannot leave their homes as their wounds continue to swell due to the rising violence.

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