By Melquiades Ávila.
Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.
The chief of the community of Mariusa, Elias Perez, described this November 24 the route that the migrant minors took to Trinidad and Tobago from the state of Delta Amacuro, once a judge ordered to return to the Caribbean island. In his description, he assured that all the illegal migrants crossed “hostile areas” the so-called green roads in the dangerous Delta Amacuro, where water and jungle collide, rife with piranha, human smugglers, and similar creatures.
Venezuela is now experiencing the largest exodus in the history of the Western Hemisphere, with some 5.5 million Venezuelans emigrating since 2013 when Nicolas Maduro first took over.
Perez assures that Mariusa, the place where the children and their companions stopped, is the intermediate terminal for the migrants: “All the migrants stop here, this is where they wait for the right moment to cross the border and cross the high seas,” said the experienced indigenous man.
He pointed out that La Barra de Mariusa comprises the coast of the Delta, which is in front of Trinidad and Tobago, with an approximate journey time of 45 minutes to one hour if the weather allows it. He explained that this coastal area is characterized by its multiple atmospheric variations and climate conditions that he described as aggressive; it is one of the five sectors that make up La Barra.
Crossing raging seas
From the capital of Delta Amacuro, Tucupita, the boat ride to Barra de Mariusa takes two hours, provided your boat is fast. Once there, you are left standing in the mud, surrounded by high, raging seas.
Likewise, a female Venezuelan migrant who identified herself as Vanessa detailed for El Pitazo the risks that those who decide to leave Venezuela by that route face.
“I traveled two nights through an area that I cannot say its name and where there are mosquitoes in surplus, the boat got overloaded, we came 58 people in a boat with a capacity of 20 passengers, and we crossed the sea at two in the morning, seeing only the stars,” she said.
Finally, this Tuesday afternoon, November 24, it confirmed that the 16 minors, along with some adults, returned to Trinidad and Tobago and reunited with their families. Until now, the authorities of the state of Delta Amacuro have not made any pronouncements on the case.
There are some 40,000 Venezuelan migrants in Trinidad and Tobago now, although the administration of Keith Rowley reported yesterday that it only recognizes some 16,000-plus officially. Rowley has deported some 300 Venezuelans this year alone, and his security minister, Stuart Young, promised to maintain this policy, despite a High Court decision that undermined it by allowing the Venezuelan minors to return and reunited with relatives already in T&T.