Haitian migrants killed in Bahamas boat capsize

As many as 30 Haitians were killed when the boat they were traveling on ran aground and then capsized on Nov. 25 near Harvey Cays in the southern Bahamas. Bahamian authorities said 111 survivors were rescued, many of them suffering from hunger and dehydration. The badly overloaded 40-foot boat was apparently headed for Florida; Haitians seeking to enter the US without authorization frequently travel through the Bahamas. Bahamas military spokesperson Lt Origin Deleveaux said the survivors would be processed at a military base on New Providence and then repatriated to Haiti.

This was the second fatal incident in less than two months involving Haitians seeking to enter the US. Four Haitian women died in mid-October when their boat capsized near Miami. As of Nov. 5 Bahamian authorities had detained more than 1,500 migrants this year, up from 1,447 in 2012; 90% were Haitians. “What we know is that this issue comes in waves. It ebbs and flows,” Bahamas Foreign Minister Fred Mitchell said. “It simply appears that people are more desperate and the numbers are increasing.” (The Guardian, UK, Nov. 26; Miami Herald, Nov. 28, from AP and correspondent)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, December 1.