Published at 1:27 pm EST, February 27, 2012
An alien citizen of Cuba died yesterday afternoon, adding to the recent
toll of deaths of undocumented aliens in the Mona Passage being
transported by smuggling organizations attempting to reach the shores of
the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
Facing the threat of being intercepted and arrested by law enforcement,
yesterday afternoon two human smugglers left a group of aliens of Cuban
nationality by "yola" close to the treacherous cliffs of Mona and and
Monito islands; both part of a natural reserve between Puerto Rico and
the Dominican Republic.
Federal authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group, along
with Dominican Republic Navy, were able to join forces to interdict and
arrest the two Dominican smugglers and rescue 12 adult males, one male
minor and three women.
The migrant vessel proceeded to transit towards Mona Island, where the
remaining 12 migrants jumped into the water and began swimming towards
Immediately thereafter, the smugglers proceeded to flee the scene and
head back towards the Dominican Republic with the CBP surveillance
aircraft in aerial pursuit.
Customs and Border Protection helicopter recovered the 11 survivors and
the deceased Cuban from Mona Island Thursday night and transported them
to the main island of Puerto Rico. The Cushing transported the three
other survivors to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they turned custody to
awaiting CBP Border Patrol Agents.