Photo: Yola Rescue with Cuban migrants
An alien citizen of Cuba died yesterday afternoon, adding to the recent toll of deaths of undocumented aliens in the Mona Passage being transported by smuggling organizations attempting to reach the shores of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
Facing the threat of being intercepted and arrested by law enforcement, yesterday afternoon two human smugglers left a group of aliens of Cuban nationality by “yola” close to the treacherous cliffs of Mona and and Monito islands; both part of a natural reserve between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Federal authorities under the Caribbean Border Interagency Group, along with Dominican Republic Navy, were able to join forces to interdict and arrest the two Dominican smugglers and rescue 12 adult males, one male minor and three women.
The migrant vessel proceeded to transit towards Mona Island, where the remaining 12 migrants jumped into the water and began swimming towards shore.
Immediately thereafter, the smugglers proceeded to flee the scene and head back towards the Dominican Republic with the CBP surveillance aircraft in aerial pursuit.
Customs and Border Protection helicopter recovered the 11 survivors and the deceased Cuban from Mona Island Thursday night and transported them to the main island of Puerto Rico. The Cushing transported the three other survivors to Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, where they turned custody to awaiting CBP Border Patrol Agents.