Photo: Cuban Migrants Rescued by Mexican Navy off the Coast of Isla Mujeres
Six Cuban migrants were rescued over the weekend off the Mexican coast, the navy said Monday.
The migrants were found Sunday east of Isla Mujeres, off the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, after a recreational boater spotted them and alerted authorities.
The men, who range in age from 23 to 33, were aboard a rickety craft, the navy said.
The migrants were treated immediately and were found to only be suffering from slight dehydration, the navy said.
The migrants left Cuba on Jan. 25 and were bound for Honduras.
The men were turned over to the National Migration Institute, or INM, for processing.
Cubans enter Mexico illegally in an effort to make their way to the United States.
Mexico and Cuba signed an immigration agreement in October 2008 aimed at guaranteeing a legal, orderly and safe migration flow.
The pact calls for Havana to take back all illegal Cuban immigrants detained by Mexican authorities.
Previously, the island’s government took back illegal emigrants detained on the high seas, but it refused to accept Cubans detained on Mexican soil while en route to the United States.
Under Washington’s “wet foot, dry foot” policy, Cubans who reach U.S. soil are permitted to remain and become legal residents, while the vast majority of those intercepted at sea are sent back to the island.
Havana says the U.S. policy encourages Cubans to undertake risky voyages to Florida and, in recent years, to Mexico’s Caribbean coast.