Venezuelan authorities say a boat bound for Trinidad and Tobago sank on December 6, killing scores of people.
Venezuelan authorities say a boat carrying large numbers of migrant workers to Trinidad and Tobago sank earlier this month due to overcrowding.
A statement from the Interior Ministry said Friday that 41 people were on board the boat, which could carry 41 people.
“The main cause of the sinking was overcrowding,” he said.
Many said there were “no life jackets and safety equipment needed to navigate the sea,” which caused the waves to be 2 to 3 meters high due to bad weather.
Venezuelan officials say 29 people were killed when a boat sank 20 km (12 miles) off the coast of Guiria in the northeastern city of Sucre on December 6.
Thirty-four bodies were found, lovers of the dead told AFP.
A spokesman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Latin America, William Spandel, told Al Jazeera by email that local bodies and Venezuelan authorities had reported that the bodies included children and pregnant women.
“We are very surprised by this tragedy. This represents the dangers of protecting refugees and migrant workers or seeking a better life.
According to the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), an estimated 5.4 million Venezuelan refugees and asylum seekers are seeking asylum outside the country, which is facing an economic and political crisis.
UNHCR He said Since 2014, the number of Venezuelans seeking asylum has increased by 8,000 percent. Most left for other countries in Latin America.
The groups said one by one Announcement In May 2011, the Trinidad and Tobago government registered 16,000 Venezuelans.
“This year is the second shipwreck in Venezuela this year. In 2019, three boats were reported missing in Venezuela and the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Curacao, killing at least 80 people.
Residents of Guiria held a funeral service earlier this month after some bodies were found.
Refugees and migrant workers are extremely surprised by this tragedy, which exposes them to the dangers of seeking protection or a better life.
On December 17, AFP reported that about 100 people followed a truck carrying the coffin of 36-year-old Cristalinda Goitia, accompanied by 11-year-old Cristian Garcia Goitia.
Goitia, who was expected to spend Christmas with her husband in Trinidad, was buried with her son.
“Daughter, wait for my daughter in heaven for a while.
Human rights groups have estimated that about 40,000 migrant workers have traveled from northeastern Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago after crossing an estimated 20-kilometer waterway called the Dragon’s Mouth.
Venezuelan authorities say migrant workers have been targeted by “mafia” traffic in the area.
Two people, the owner of the boat and the owner who left, were arrested during the investigation.