PUERTO RICO – The discovery comes just days after 11 Haitian migrants were found dead off the coast of the Bahamas.
A Coast Guard report said five Haitian migrants’ bodies were recovered from waters off Mona Island, an uninhabited island between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Two minors were also among the 66 survivors who were found safe on the island by the Coast Guard.
According to the Coast Guard, human smugglers dropped the migrants offshore on Thursday morning.
In recent months, more and more Haitians have been making the perilous journey across the Caribbean as gang violence has grown in their country following the July assassination of President Jovenel Moise.
The United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Ulrika Richardson said this week that Haiti’s problems are “growing due to poverty, a lack of basic services, and recent violence.”
According to the UN, more than 471 people were killed, injured, or unaccounted for in Haiti between July 8-17.
Seventeen Haitian migrants died when a boat bound for Miami capsized off the coast of the Bahamas on Sunday.
Since last October, the Coast Guard has stopped more than 6,100 Haitian migrants, a sharp increase over the 1,527 migrants who were stopped in the fiscal year 2021 and the 418 migrants who were stopped in the fiscal year 2020.