Nine fleeing Haitians returned home after landing in Jamaica
PORTLAND, Jamaica – Nine Haitians who were among a group who entered Jamaica illegally between Sunday and Monday earlier this week in Long Road, Portland were sent back to Haiti on Wednesday evening on a Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard vessel.
It is suspected that at least half of the 20 or more Haitians who landed illegally have not been accounted for.
Residents awoke Monday morning and saw the 28-foot sail boat in which the Haitians had arrived abandoned on Long Road beach.
The police were alerted and eight of the Haitians were captured when a taxi was intercepted in the parish. Among the fleeing Haitians was one of their countrymen who has been living in Jamaica for 11 years.
Observer Online understands that another illegal Haitian migrant was caught Tuesday night along with another native of Haiti who has been living in Jamaica for a period of time.
Five females and four males comprise the nine repatriated Haitians.
Human Rights lawyer Malene Alleyne is in Portland attempting to block the government from sending back the Haitians but her efforts have been futile.
Haiti has been mired for years in intertwining economic, security and political crises, resulting in thousands of citizens fleeing the country.
Just last month, another group of Haitian refugees numbering about 30 arrived at Long Bay, Portland and were returned. The authorities suspected that some of them were among a group of 36 refugees who had landed in Jamaica in September and were also sent back.
In July, 37 Haitians landed on Boston Beach in Portland. They have since applied for asylum in Jamaica.
– Everard Owen