The Justice and Peace Minister, Carmen Meléndez, reported in a press release published on December 25 that bad weather and the overload caused the sinking of the ship Mi Recuerdo, which wrecked last December 6, on the coast of Güiria, Sucre state.
The minister announced the results of the investigation carried out by its government. They concluded the number of passengers exceeded the capacity of the boat. Also, no one took security measures.
“The main cause of the shipwreck was the overload of the fiberglass boat. The ship has a capacity of eight persons and a weight of two tons at the top, and they carried 41 persons, equivalent to four tones. Further, they were not using lifevests and other security equipment, “pointed out in the report.
In the same way, Melendez reiterated that the ship departed on December 6 from El Rincón in Güiria and wrecked after traveling 11 nautical miles in the Paria Gulf. She assured that the Venezuelan migrants were in an illegal traveling, evading the Coast Guard controls.
She also reiterated that according to the National Institute of Meteorology report was critical weather that night, with trade winds blowing from the north, which caused two and three meters high waves.
But the government explanation has not the total approval of the relatives of the victims and people from Güiria. They cast doubts about the shipwreck date since the bodies appeared on the coast on December 12, six days after. On average, the bodies float 24 hours later, so they believe the sinking could happen on December 10.
Inhabitants in Güiria also doubt that 41 people could board the ship Mi Refugio and they handle the theory of a second boat, as well as the victims, did arrive in Trinidad and Tobago and were sent back by the authorities of the island.
In the statement, Minister Meléndez informed that they deployed more security controls to avoid a new tragedy. Also, assured that people are trying to use the families’ grieves and the memory of the victims to manipulate public opinion.
“We reject the political manipulation of extremist sectors that are using the pain of the Venezuelan to affect the stability of the country, as well as the diplomatic relations between the governments of Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago,” she says.