Thousands of Venezuelans dare to flee the 100 km to Trinidad and Tobago. More than 100 people have died in shipwrecks there since 2018.
Scarborough – Tragedy struck during a Coast Guard operation in Trinidad and Tobago. A toddler died after border guards shot at a boat. According to their own statements, the coast guard of the Caribbean state wanted to stop a ship that had illegally entered the country’s sovereign waters on the night of Sunday (February 06, 2022).
When this ship did not follow the instructions, the Coast Guard opened fire. The unknown ship “continued its aggressive maneuvers” even after the first warning shots were fired. Trinidad and Tobago authorities said the vessel attempted to ram the Coast Guard vessel. The border guards were afraid for their lives and therefore shot at the boat’s engine.
Trinidad and Tobago: Coast Guard declares ‘infant unresponsive’
When the unknown ship finally stopped, refugees were discovered on board. Accordingly, a woman with a small child was taken to a hospital. “Unfortunately, it was determined that the infant was unresponsive,” the Coast Guard said in a statement.
According to human rights organizations, the refugees set sail in the eastern Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro. An estimated six to ten boats with refugees depart from there every day, according to human rights activist Orlando Moreno.
Venezuela: Escape over the water is fatal for many refugees
Venezuela has been in a severe economic and political crisis for years * . As far as poverty and inequality are concerned, observers now place the South American country behind crisis-hit African countries such as Chad and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
More than 100 people have died in shipwrecks between Trinidad and Tobago and the Venezuelan mainland, about 100 kilometers away, since 2018. According to the United Nations, around five million Venezuelans have fled the country since 2015. About 25,000 of them made it to Trinidad and Tobago. (lz/afp) *fr.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA.