At least 108 Cubans have died at the border crossing between the United States and Mexico in the last 18 months, according to a report by the Missing Migrants Project (MMP) of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
These deaths of migrants from the Island are part of the 1,238 lives lost in the same period of time in the Americas, including those of at least 51 children. 728 of that total occurred at the border crossing, which already qualifies as the deadliest in the world, according to the report.
In the first six months of 2022, there are already 493 deaths in the same circumstances.
“The number of deaths on the US-Mexico border last year is significantly higher than in any previous year, even before Covid-19,” said Edwin Viales, author of the new IOM report on migrants in the Americas. in 2021.
The official explained that, despite this, the data is not definitive.
Thus, the Missing Migrants Project pointed out that 51 lives of lost migrants were recorded in the Darién Gap in 2021, including several Cubans, as reported by DIARIO DE CUBA.
However, anecdotal reports indicate that many migrants die in this inhospitable region and their remains are not recovered or reported, so this figure represents only a small fraction of the true number of lives lost.
According to IOM experts, mobility restrictions enacted in response to the pandemic, and not yet fully lifted, may also have led to a “funnel effect”, leading migrants with limited options to increasingly dangerous routes.
Many deaths recorded on these routes come from countries with a high number of asylum seekers. At least 136 Venezuelans have died in transit in the last 18 months, in addition to 90 Haitians.
However, the largest demographic group in the available data on migrant deaths in the Americas is unidentified people. The countries of origin of more than 500 people whose deaths have been recorded since 2021 are listed as “unknown.”
“Our data shows the growing crisis of deaths during migration in the region, and the need to strengthen the forensic capacity of the authorities to identify deaths on these routes. We cannot forget that each number is a human being with a family that may never know what happened to them,” Viales said.
Maritime routes also claimed many lives in 2021. The US Coast Guard reported last week that there are 39 bodies recovered from the sea en route to that country since October 2021. The statement did not clarify how many of those victims are Cuban.