After the shipwreck of a small boat carrying more than half a dozen migrants off the San Diego, California coast, the Mexican Consulate identified three of the eight victims.
According to the Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez, at least three deceased were originally from Puebla. This could be determined thanks to the results released by forensic doctors after recovering the bodies.
It was reported that the people identified are two men (Guillermo Suarez, 23, and Eloy Hernandez, 58) and a woman (Yesenia Lazcano, 22). It was indicated that the victims’ families had already been notified, and constant communication was maintained with the corresponding authorities.
“We maintain collaboration with the Government of Puebla to assist the families of the victims, to whom we offered support for the transfer of the remains of their relatives to Mexico,” Gonzalez Gutierrez said last Tuesday night, March 14, three days after what is considered one of the deadliest migrant maritime operations recorded lately in U.S. territory.
As for the other five deceased persons, the Mexican Consul specified that with the initial biometric data, confirming their respective identities has not yet been possible. “Other types of tests will likely be required” to determine their gender, age, and state of origin, said Carlos Gonzales.
Meanwhile, the following number -corresponding to the emergency line- was made available in case anyone requires information about the deceased or missing persons following the incident: +1 619-843-6399. The authorities can also be contacted via e-mail at [email protected]
What happened in San Diego
On the evening of Saturday, March 11, a Spanish-speaking woman reported to 911 that a boat had capsized in the waters off Black’s Beach, a beach located about 15 miles north of downtown San Diego, in an area known as “La Jolla.” While reaching shore, she indicated that another boat with about 15 people on board had capsized.
When the San Diego Fire Department and Coast Guard went into the deceptive surf, they recovered the lifeless bodies of eight people. Although work was interrupted that night due to dense fog in the area, it was resumed the next day. However, no more bodies were found.
San Diego’s lifeguard chief, James Gartland, reported that two small boats were involved in the incident: one made it to the beach, and the other was wrecked. It is presumed that the people who managed to survive escaped by land, including the woman who called 911. The nationality of the victims was unknown at this time.
On Monday, March 13, the Mexican Consulate in San Diego confirmed that seven of the eight deceased were Mexican, but at the time, it was not disclosed how many were men, how many were women, nor was their age or state of origin specified.
In light of this situation, the Mexican Consul called on migrants to avoid risking their lives when crossing the border to the United States by land or sea. “They should know that human traffickers take advantage of their need to obtain illicit money, distorting reality, creating false expectations, and exposing them to high-risk conditions,” he warned.