AlterPresse reports that approximately 452 Haitians have been repatriated in the month of August alone, according to the National Office of Migration. These Haitian migrants were sent back by authorities in the Bahamas, Curaçao, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Turks and Caicos.
Noting a marked increase in the migratory flux to Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas, the National Office of Migration stated that thousands of Haitians suffering from a dire economic situations risk their lives each year on the ocean. The office cited numerous cases of deaths of Haitians attempting to reach other islands. From early 2007 to July of 2009, at least 106 people have drowned and 65 others have been reported missing.
One of these poignant examples was reported by Reuters on July 28, 2009. The article described the rescue of over 120 Haitian migrants who were shipwrecked off the Turks and Caicos islands when their wooden sloop hit a reef and sank. Police said that15 bodies had been recovered in waters off West Caicos, a sparsely inhabited island popular with divers and boaters. Coast Guard vessels and helicopters, the Turks and Caicos Police Marine Patrol and private boats had all helped pluck the survivors from the reefs and waters. After the most gravely injured survivors were taken by helicopter to the Turks and Caicos capital of Providenciales for medical treatment, the repatriation process began for the 122 surviving migrants— 22 women and 100 men. The previous week, the Coast Guard intercepted 124 migrants from what they called a “grossly overloaded” 60-foot boat about 150 miles southwest of the shipwreck site. They were also repatriated to Haiti.
For full article (in French), see http://www.alterpresse.org/spip.php?article8700
For full article (in English), see http://www.reuters.com/article/americasCrisis/idUSN28128427