UN envoy sends condolences after boat tragedy claims 38 lives

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The head of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti today sent his condolences to the country’s President and families of the 38 people who died at sea after their boat sank off Cuba’s eastern coast last week.

Mariano Fernández, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), reaffirmed the mission’s commitment to supporting the Haitian authorities in their efforts to improve the living conditions in the Caribbean country so that Haitians do not have to risk their lives in desperate search for a better future abroad.

According to media reports, the remains of the 38 people were discovered on Saturday when the Cuban coast guard found the half-sunken boat about 100 metres off the town of Point Maisi.

The Cuban civil defence agency said in statement that the dead included 21 men and 17 women, according to the reports. Some 87 people, including four children, were rescued.