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Victims of the migrant shipwreck in Güiria, Venezuela rise to 19

The second group of seven bodies found Sunday night makes for 19 fatal victims neighbors told El Pitazo. Meanwhile, the Nicolas Maduro regime admits officially to only 11 casualties. Fishermen that undertook first search and rescue operations have run out of gasoline for their boats amidst a severe shortage.

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By Jesymar Añez.

On the night of December 13, seven more bodies were found, victims of the shipwreck off the coast of Güiria, in the state of Sucre. The information was confirmed by inhabitants of that town to El Pitazo, via telephone.

Julio Borges, the foreign minister for the interim administration of National Assembly President Juan Guaido, officially reported to the Organization of American States on Monday morning that 19 Venezuelan migrants had perished in a Trinidad and Tobago bound shipwreck.

You must read Three children died in a migrant shipwreck between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago

The Venezuelan exodus, the biggest in the history of the Western Hemisphere and second largest in the world, is accelerating, the United Nations said last week. The forced migration will reach a total of 8.1 million migrants by 2021, up from some 5.5 million Venezuelans leaving the country since Nicolas Maduro first took over in 2013.

The figure of 19 dead in the tragedy was first reported by Rocio San Miguel, head of the Control Ciudadano NGO, Saturday night. However, Nicolas Maduro regime authorities kept on insisting on a body count of 11 Monday morning.

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The inhabitants of Güiria indicated that two ships left for Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday, December 6, and they assure that bodies will continue to appear on the coast.

One of the vessels involved in the shipwreck is Mi Recuerdo. Although only one person has been identified, the locals said that all the dead are from the town. In addition to children, among the victims, there are also teenagers.

So far, the rescue work is being carried out by the regime’s Coast Guard; the fishermen have abandoned it because they have no gasoline. This Sunday afternoon, nor national or regional authority in Sucre state had commented on the tragedy.

El Pitazo also learned that at least 12 bodies be buried in a mass grave in the Las Salinas cemetery, given the collapse of the municipal cemetery.

Additional reporting by Carlos Camacho in Caracas.

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