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HAITIANS SENT BACK HOME - 67 returned to their homeland

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Gareth Davis Sr, STAR Writer
Sixty-seven Haitians were last night transported by boat from the Ken Wright Pier in Port Antonio, Portland, back to their homeland, after fleeing economic hardship and starvation.


Included in the batch were the 62 persons who landed in two groups on March 23. The other Haitians include a 16-year-old boy who landed illegally on February 12, and four Haitian males who were incarcerated in a jail in Kingston.

"We have a responsibility to ensure they are safely onboard," said Inspector Steve Brown, head of the Constabulary Communication Network. "They were transported by a Jamaica Defence Force coast guard vessel ...," he said. The Haitians boarded the coast guard vessel at approximately 8:45 p.m. and it set sail at exactly 9:05 p.m., amidst waves of goodbyes from social workers attached to the Red Cross and the Adventist Relief Agency.

an obedient bunch

"We were just getting to know them," said Gloria Miller, a social worker from the Port Antonio Red Cross. "They were an obedient bunch, and it is a bit sad to see them go. I am really going to miss them, but I will cherish the memories as I learnt a lot from them."

The Haitians were transported from the Port Antonio Seventh Day Adventist Church by bus shortly before 8 p.m., and as they boarded the vessel, they tearfully waved goodbye to the many social workers and police personnel.

The persistent crying of a year-and-half-old baby, who was admitted to hospital for two days suffering from dehydration, after arriving on the island, could also be heard.

Just before they boarded the vessel, the Haitians received additional medical treatment from health personnel.









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