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Organization reports 321 migrant deaths in Caribbean last year

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — The Missing Migrants Project of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) documented at least 321 deaths and disappearances of migrants in the Caribbean in 2022.

It is the highest number since the Project began in 2014. This also reflects a drastic increase compared to the 2021 figure which was 180.  

Of that total, 66 were women, 64 were men, and 28 adolescents of both sexes. There are 163 deceased who could not be identified.

“More than 51 percent of the people who lost their lives on Caribbean migration routes last year have not been able to be identified,” said Patrice Quesada, IOM Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean.

“This means that hundreds of families do not have information about the whereabouts of their loved ones.”

Most of the migrants who died or disappeared were from Haiti (80), Cuba (69), Dominican Republic (56) and Venezuela (25). The main cause of death was drowning caused by bad weather conditions that make navigation difficult and the use of precarious boats in poor condition or that are not suitable for navigation on the high seas.

A significant number of the reported incidents occurred on routes leading to the United States, from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, from Haiti to the Dominican Republic, and from Venezuela to various Caribbean islands.

The IOM calls on the governments of the Caribbean countries and all these migratory routes to optimize regional cooperation and guarantee the protection and security of migrants regardless of their migratory status and at all times during their journeys.

The prevention of migrant deaths must begin through regular migratory routes, defending the right of families to remain together and responding to the needs of migrants who are in a situation of vulnerability.