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The bodies of five Haitian migrants were recovered on Thursday morning from waters off Mona Island, an uninhabited land mass in between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard located 66 survivors safely on the island, including two minors.
Human smugglers dropped the migrants offshore on Thursday morning, the Coast Guard said.
An increasing number of Haitians have been making the perilous journey across the Caribbean in recent months as gang violence grows in their country following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse last July.
COAST GUARD STOPPED RECORD-BREAKING NUMBER OF HAITIAN MIGRANTS NEAR FLORIDA’S COAST
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Ulrika Richardson said this week that problems in Haiti are “growing due to poverty, lack of basic services, including security, and a recent spike in violence.”
From July 8-17, more than 471 people were killed, injured, or unaccounted for in Haiti, the UN said.
A boat bound for Miami capsized off the coast of the Bahamas on Sunday, leaving 17 Haitian migrants dead.
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More than 6,100 Haitian migrants have been stopped by the Coast Guard since last October, a sharp uptick over the 1,527 Haitian migrants who were stopped in fiscal year 2021 and the 418 who were stopped in fiscal year 2020.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.