rad­hi­ca.sookraj@guardian.co.tt

Two more bod­ies from Venezuela’s Delta Amacuro boatwreck have sur­faced, bring­ing to eight the num­ber of peo­ple con­firmed dead.

Venezue­lan me­dia re­port­ed yes­ter­day that ex­cept for the sev­en pas­sen­gers who were res­cued by a com­mer­cial ship op­er­at­ing in the Bo­ca de Ser­pi­ente (Snake’s Mouth) last Thurs­day, there have been no fur­ther sur­vivors.

As the days go by, the chances of any­one else be­ing found alive grow slim.

Venezuela’s Tane Tanae Delta re­port­ed yes­ter­day that the eight deaths were con­firmed by Tu­cu­pi­ta Com­mis­sion­er Noel Valder­ra­ma, who is Sec­re­tary of Cit­i­zen Se­cu­ri­ty of the state.

He al­so called on cit­i­zens to pro­vide up­dat­ed pho­tos and in­for­ma­tion on tat­toos and cloth­ing that will as­sist in iden­ti­fy­ing the bod­ies.

The first two bod­ies, that of a man and a woman, were found in Tu­cu­pi­ta on Sat­ur­day, Tane Tanae Delta re­port­ed. On Sun­day, the bod­ies of three women were trans­ferred and on Mon­day, a fur­ther three bod­ies were trans­ferred to the port of CVF 611 in Tu­cu­pi­ta.

Out of the eight dead, six are fe­males and two are males. Six of the de­ceased have been iden­ti­fied by fin­ger­prints and tat­toos but two bod­ies have not yet been iden­ti­fied or recog­nised.

Venezue­lan of­fi­cials have called on rel­a­tives who are sure that their loved ones were in the boat or are miss­ing, to go to the CI­CPC to fa­cil­i­tate the recog­ni­tion and iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of the bod­ies by pro­vid­ing names and sur­names, iden­ti­ty signs, foot­prints or traces of sur­gi­cal in­ter­ven­tions and epi­der­mal in­scrip­tions) of the dis­ap­peared.

How­ev­er, on Mon­day, the Tane Tanae re­port­ed that the gov­er­nor of Delta Amacuro state Lize­ta Hernán­dez had promised to take ac­tion against those who fa­cil­i­tat­ed the il­le­gal trip to Trinidad and To­ba­go.

“We will not hide any­thing and the guilty must pay with the full weight of the law,” Hernán­dez re­port­ed­ly said.

Among those list­ed as dead was Bár­bara Al­calá, who left a two-year-old daugh­ter with her moth­er in search of a bet­ter life in Trinidad and To­ba­go. Al­so found dead was 17-year-old Leu­mirys León, as well as Dulce Ve­gas Mil­lán, from Maturín, Mon­a­gas state and Arx­eilys Aguilarte, a res­i­dent of Tu­cu­pi­ta. Six peo­ple have al­ready been buried.

The boat which left Tu­cu­pi­ta, had been trav­el­ling along the Bo­ca de Ser­pi­ente strait of the sea near Soleda­do Rock in Venezue­lan wa­ters when it was hit by two huger waves.

The pas­sen­gers tried to dis­pose of their be­long­ings and goods which they had planned to sell in Trinidad. But as the boat sunk, they held on to float­ing items. On­ly those with life jack­ets sur­vived.

Hinds: Venezue­lan boat cap­siz­ing an un­for­tu­nate tragedy

Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Fitzger­ald Hind yes­ter­day de­scribed the in­ci­dent as an “un­for­tu­nate tragedy.”

Hinds said al­though the in­ci­dent hap­pened out­side of T&T’s mar­itime bor­ders, lo­cal Coast Guard of­fi­cers have been pro­vid­ing sup­port.

He said, “It is an un­for­tu­nate state of af­fairs that we hope would not have hap­pened, and we pray that it does not hap­pen again.”

The Unit­ed Na­tions High Com­mis­sion­er for Refugees (UN­HCR), the Unit­ed Na­tions Refugee Agency, and the In­ter­na­tion­al Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion (IOM), all have ex­pressed sad­ness over the in­ci­dent.

In a press re­lease is­sued on Mon­day, Ed­uar­do Stein, Joint Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of UN­HCR and IOM for Venezue­lan Refugees and Mi­grants said, “The wa­ters of the Caribbean Sea con­tin­ue to claim the lives of Venezue­lans.”

“As the con­di­tions in the coun­try con­tin­ue to de­te­ri­o­rate—all wors­ened by the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic—peo­ple con­tin­ue to un­der­take life-threat­en­ing jour­neys.”

Names of res­cued peo­ple

 Leonar­do Marín, C.I. 26,212,025, from Maturín, Mon­a­gas state.

Nor­ber­to Martínez, C.I. 15,790,379, La Flori­da, Vir­gen del Valle parish, Tu­cu­pi­ta mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty.

Reinal­do Vil­lar­roel, C.I. 19,403,680, Cocuina, Vir­gen del Valle parish, Tu­cu­pi­ta mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty.

Al­ber­to Mon­tero­la, C.I. 3,116,192, La Hor­que­ta, Vir­gen del Valle parish, Tu­cu­pi­ta mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty.

Al­ba Sánchez, C.I. 21,083,791, Vil­la Bo­li­var­i­ana, Tu­cu­pi­ta mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty.

Alexan­der Jiménez, C.I. 11,212,387, Cocuina Bloom, Vir­gen del Valle parish, Tu­cu­pi­ta mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty.

Lazarde Salazar, C.I. 13,743,582, La Hor­que­ta, Vir­gen del Valle parish, Tu­cu­pi­ta mu­nic­i­pal­i­ty.

Source: Guardian T&T