SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday searched for at least eight migrants believed to be missing in waters near the historic area of Puerto Rico’s capital.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the migrants were apparently aboard a boat that capsized in San Juan Bay on Tuesday night, according to two survivors from the Dominican Republic who were rescued.
The search comes amid a spike in human smuggling voyages departing from Haiti and the Dominican Republic as people flee poverty and violence.
From October 2021 through September 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard detained at least 88 such voyages in waters near Puerto Rico and in the Mona Passage, which separates the U.S. territory from the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. During that period, more than 1,700 Dominicans were detained, along with 444 Haitians and four Cubans.