CARACAS, April 25 (Reuters) – At least two Venezuelans died and seven were rescued when a boat that left the Delta Amacuro state, in the extreme east of the South American country, sank when they were sailing to neighboring Trinidad and Tobago, authorities said this weekend. week.
The incident marks the last fatal shipwreck of migrants trying to cross the sea to the Caribbean island, home to at least 40,000 Venezuelans fleeing the economic crisis in their country and in the midst of the pandemic. Many traveled in unsuitable boats, crowded with passengers and with little fuel.
The governor of Delta Amacuro, Lizeta Hernández, reported that the ship left the town of La Horqueta on April 23. Among the victims were a man and a woman whose names were unknown, Hernández said.
“We sympathize with all the families of these Venezuelans who have unfortunately lost their lives today,” reads Hernández’s statement, published Saturday night on the governor’s Instagram account.
Last December at least 20 bodies were found in the Venezuelan coastal town Güiria. In 2019 at least two ships that sailed from Venezuela to Trinidad and Tobago disappeared at sea.
Delta Amacuro’s local outlet, Tane tanae, reported that 24 people had been aboard the vessel, citing testimony from a survivor.
More than 5 million Venezuelans have emigrated in recent years due to the collapse of the economy of the once prosperous South American country. Hyperinflation has eroded the purchasing power of wages and deepened malnutrition.
Recently, Venezuela reached an agreement with the UN World Food Program to provide meals to schoolchildren in the country.
(Reporting by Luc Cohen.)