Armed Seamen From Mexico Transfer the 28 Cubans Rescued by the Paradise Carnival Cruise Ship

Migration Agents used vans to transport the Cuban rafters rescued last Sunday by the Paradise Carnival cruise ship / X/@INAMI_mx

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, April 26, 2024 — As if they were criminals, armed seamen guarded the transfer to Playa del Carmen of 28 Cubans, including a minor, last Tuesday. The migrants were handed over by the Paradise Carnival crew, who rescued them on Sunday 20 miles from the Island.

The cruise ship, which arrived at the San Miguel pier that same day, informed the captaincy of ports that among them was a group of rescued rafters. Agents of the National Institute of Migration took care of the Cubans and with the support of sailors took them in vans to the Winjet station, tourist transport ferries in Cozumel, to take them to the immigration station of Playa del Carmen.

A group of Cuban rafters guarded by armed seamen from Mexico at the exit of the San Miguel pier in Cozumel / Facebook/Esquema Cozumel

Darío Canché, who offers tourists diving tours, snorkeling and boat trips, told 14ymedio that before eight in the morning on Tuesday the seamen were already at the pier. “With these operations you think that there’s a shipment of drugs, but they took out several people carrying plastic bags. I asked if it was human trafficking and one of the people from Migration told me it was none of my business.”

What caught Canché’s attention is that their new footwear had no laces. “When they arrest you and before putting you in the cell they take everything away from you, even the laces, because they’re afraid you’ll kill yourself.”

At the immigration station they refused to give the list of Cuban names to this newspaper, under the argument that there was already an official statement. They also did not want to report why these people were delivered to Mexico and not to the island of Roatán (Honduras), where the cruise ship Paradise was moored last Monday.

Trajectory of the Paradise Carnival cruise ship/ Dayli Mail

The report indicates that the rafters are at the headquarters in Cancún, “where they were provided with care and accommodation while their situation is resolved.” The minor was “channeled” to the municipal System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF), in the Casa Filtro shelter, which will determine the protection measures and the plan of restitution of rights. Migrant defense attorney Jose Luis Pérez denounced Migration’s lack of transparency: “These Cubans have the right to regularize their stay in the country, but they will surely be isolated and threatened with deportation. It’s a way of scamming them.”

A member of the Beta Group revealed to 14ymedio that Mexico continues to deport Cubans, despite the fact that last October it announced that the process of “assisted calls” – as they call the expulsions – was paused until further notice. Last January, nine people from the Island were returned on a commercial flight. Last year, 774 Cuban migrants were returned.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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