Diaspora

US Coast Guard repatriates 180 Haitian migrants to Haiti – caribbeannationalweekly.com

The United States Coast Guard on Friday said the crew of its cutter Escanaba repatriated 180 Haitian migrants to Haiti following an interdiction 25 miles south of Rodriguez Key, Florida.
According to the Coast Guard, on Monday, a good Samaritan alerted Sector Key West watch standers of an overloaded sailing vessel, following which the Coast Guard responded, along with Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations crews.
At about 7:00 p.m. the US Coast Guard said the 50-foot sailing vessel hit a sand bar south of Whale Harbor, Florida, “resulting in multiple reports of people in the water.”
“One person was medevac’d to Jackson Memorial Hospital (in Miami) for further evaluation,” said the US Coast Guard, disclosing that 89 men, 55 women, and 46 children were aboard the cutter.
“The remaining ten people are still going through a joint interagency process, and disposition has yet to be decided.”
“These people were packed into an overloaded, unsafe vessel without safety equipment,” said Lieutenant. C. Box, Coast Guard District Seven. “The weather was so bad; these people are lucky we got to them when we did.”
Since October 1, the Coast Guard said its crews have interdicted 585 Haitian migrants compared to 7,175 in Fiscal Year 2022; 1,527 in Fiscal Year 2021; 418 in Fiscal Year 2020; 932 in Fiscal Year 2019; 609 in Fiscal Year 2018; and 419 in Fiscal Year 2017.
Amid continuing gang warfare and a vacuum of law and order, Haiti is “on the verge of an abyss” said the United Nations human rights chief Volker Türk, warning that any hope of a sustainable recovery requires “urgent and sustained action” to tackle the root causes of the overlapping crises afflicting the island nation.
More migrants are taking the dangerous journey at sea as Haiti has descended into the worst human rights and humanitarian situation in decades. Food insecurity is also on the rise, with a record 4.7 million nearly half of the population – facing acute hunger. Poor sanitation and lack of safe water supplies have led to a so far uncontrolled cholera outbreak.
CMC/
 
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