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NASSAU, Bahamas, Feb 11, CMC – The Haitian community here on Sunday bade farewell to 22 Haitians who drowned in waters off Abaco when their vessel ran aground just over a week ago.
“In searching for a better life, they found death,” said Francois J. Michel, the charge d’affaires at the Haitian Embassy as the coffins strapped to a flatbed truck and draped in Haitian flags were brought into the Enoch Backford Auditorium for the funeral service.
Last week, Foreign Affairs Minister, Darren Henfield, said the Haitian Embassy here had requested the bodies of the nationals who perished when the 40-foot vessel ran aground in waters off Abaco.
So far 31 bodies had been recovered but the authorities said that nine were in such poor condition that they were buried in Abaco. The authorities have since called off the search for other survivors.
President of the Abaco Christian Council told mourners, “there’s is no Haitian people, there’s no Bahamian people. We are all God’s people”.
Henfield said that Nassau has in the past warned of the dangers associated with the illegal migration by sea to the Bahamas and on Sunday, Herns Mesamours, of the Haitian Embassy said “everyone must submit to the laws and authority of The Bahamas.
“The Haitian Embassy is not here to encourage any illegal migration to The Bahamas.”
Bishop Simeon Hall told the mourners “to be poor and destitute (in Haiti) is still far better than to be dead and gone.”