The US Coast Guard in Puerto Rico reported this Friday that it has repatriated 72 migrants Dominicans and has returned 14 Haitians to the Dominican Republic, after intercepting their boats in waters west of Puerto Rico.
A Dominican citizen remains in Puerto Rico to face federal prosecution on charges of attempted illegal re-entry into the United States, according to the Coast Guard statement.
The first vessel was intercepted last Tuesday, after the crew of a Customs and Border Protection aircraft of the Maritime Force detected a suspected illegal trip in the Mona Passage in transit to Puerto Rico.
On the ship were 30 citizens of the Dominican Republic and seven Haitian men who were handed over to a Dominican Republic Navy ship on Wednesday.
The second intervention occurred on Wednesday in the same area of the Mona Passage, a channel in the Antilles that separates the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico and connects the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean.
The intercepted boat was very overloaded and capsized, but all the passengers were rescued by the crew of the patrol boat Heriberto Hernández, with the assistance of the marine units of the Police of Puerto Rico.
A total of 42 Dominicans and seven Haitians were traveling on that ship and were also handed over to a Dominican Republic Navy ship.
From October 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022, the Coast Guard has intercepted 53 illegal voyages in the Mona Passage and in Caribbean waters near Puerto Rico.
A total of 1,308 migrants They traveled on these boats, mostly from the Dominican Republic (940), but also from Haiti (298), Venezuela (36) and Cuba (24), among others.