14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 16 February 2022 — Authorities from the states of Yucatán and Quintana Roo were advised by the National Migration Institute (NMI) of the arrival of Cuban balseros [rafters] to the Mexican Caribbean. Last Wednesday, a boat was abandoned on the beach known as “The Secret” on the Mayan Riviera.
The Secret beach is 30 miles south of Cancún, so the “crew had to have help leaving the place in vehicles,” Raúl Tassinari, the police chief, told 14ymedio. “They had adapted a car engine, and we even found containers of gasoline and clothing.”
The discovery of the arrival took place the same day that representatives of the National Migration Institute (NMI) had a meeting with personnel from the Cuban Consulate in Cancún, in which they talked about cooperation and coordination in respect to migratory matters. Tassarini reported that in February alone they had reports of three events related to Cuban rafters.
“The Navy was informed of the vessel so that it could be secured, and the port captain and Immigration were also notified,” emphasizes the officer, who doesn’t rule out the deployment in the coming days of elements of the National Guard and the Army to stop the entry of migrants through Quintana Roo.
According to figures from the NMI, the state of Quintana Roo has become a route for the illegal entry of Cubans in recent years. Between October and December 2021, 29 rafters who arrived at Isla Mujeres were detained. Of 60 Cubans detained in that same year, 45 were deported and 15 received legal advice to obtain refuge.
On February 12, another boat was abandoned on the eastern coast of the island area of Isla Mujeres, at the height of the Colegio de Bachilleres. The state police confirmed to this newspaper that the migrants “got into a truck, so the surveillance cameras are already being checked.” The island’s natives left medicines, 200-liter drums, canned food in bags, as well as men’s and women’s clothing on the raft.
Ten days earlier, personnel assigned to the Fifth Naval Region rescued seven Cuban rafters, who were shipwrecked 43 nautical miles northeast of Isla Contoy. The migrants were transferred to the Puerto Juárez naval station. A Migration source indicates that this group would be deported.
Last January, members of the Navy in the city of Cancún detained seven Cubans on the boulevard near the Plaza Kukulcán shopping center, after the undocumented immigrants were captured by the video surveillance cameras of the C5 Security Complex. The alert of the arrival of rafters was also extended to the state of Yucatan, confirmed the Mayan Riviera official.
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Translated by Regina Anavy
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.