The main cause of death was drowning caused by bad weather conditions that make navigation difficult.
On Tuesday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) released a report showing that at least 321 migrants died or disappeared on Caribbean sea routes in 2022.
According to the IOM Missing Migrants Project, which carries out daily updated monitoring of this type of victims, the number of deceased or disappeared increased from 180 in 2021 to 321 in 2022.
Only half of the dead and missing in 2022 could be identified. The victims came from countries like Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
“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,” the OIM explained.
Many of the cases occurred while people were traveling to the United States, from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, from Haiti to the Dominican Republic, and from Venezuela to various Caribbean islands.
After publishing these figures, the IOM called on the governments of the region to increase regional cooperation in order to improve the security of these migrants.
“Measures to prevent migrant deaths must begin with regular migratory routes, defending the right of families to stay together and responding to the needs of migrants who are in a situation of vulnerability,” the IOM said.
Lee Yan is a journalist based in Cebu, Philippines. For the past 10 years, he has worked in the media and writes part-time for the St. Vincent Times.