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More than 100 Haitian migrants have been found on a desert island off Puerto Rico, US Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday. People are forced to flee Haiti as a gang blockade of a fuel terminal has caused a humanitarian crisis on the island.
The group of migrants includes 63 women, three of whom are pregnant, and 41 men, who were discovered on Mona Isla by park rangers working for the Puerto Rico Department of Environment and Natural Resources, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Jeffrey Quinones said Tuesday.
“We know beforehand that they were transported on the same ship,” — Quinones said in a phone interview.
Smugglers often use Mona Island as a disembarkation point for ships leaving the Dominican Republic, he said, and often tell migrants they have reached Puerto Rico, even though Mona Island is uninhabited and inhospitable.
Just over a week ago On October 10, Border Patrol agents arrested 46 Haitian migrants abandoned by smugglers on Mona Island. All the detainees were loaded onto boats and taken to the port of Mayaguez in Puerto Rico.
Haiti has requested international military assistance to fight the gangs blocking the Varre fuel terminal, which has led to food and fuel shortages.
< br /> UN Secretary-General António Guterres earlier this month offered to send a “rapid reaction force,” according to a letter seen by Reuters, without specifying where the troops would come from.
Proposal submitted by the United States and Mexico in the UN Security Council on Monday, called for a force to be led by a “partner country” without specifying a country.
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