Risking death at sea to avoid danger in Haiti
As gangs take over government buildings and fill the power vacuum created by the president’s assassination and other political chaos, hundreds of Haitians have decided the risk of dying in rough waters is worth trying for a better life.
A boat capsized in Bahamas waters in the first hours of Sunday, reportedly killing 16 Haitian migrants.
A Royal Bahamas Defense Force corporal reached by the Miami Herald only confirmed the capsizing near New Providence and an “ongoing investigation” and referred all inquiries into migrant deaths to the agency’s public relations office.
However, the Nassau Guardian and Eyewitness News Bahamas reported that Immigration Secretary Keith Bell confirmed at least 21 people were rescued and 16 people died, all of them Haitian nationals.
The tragedy happened around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Boats full of people, like the one with more than 150 migrants that docked off Boca Chita Key Thursday, bring deadly dangers along with the hopes of people trying to emerge from Haiti’s political and economic upheaval. The US Coast Guard said it has intercepted and returned more than 6,100 Haitians at sea since October, the largest attempted migration of Haitian boat people in 20 years.
This is an evolving story and will be updated as more is learned.
This story was originally published July 24, 2022 10:50 am.