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  1. #1
    Senior Member Brian503a's Avatar
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    May 2005
    California or ground zero of the invasion

    More than 100 feared dead after boat sinks

    Posted on Thu, Aug. 18, 2005

    More than 100 feared dead after boat sinks
    A boat carrying at least 113 migrants capsized in the Pacific off Colombia. Only nine survivors were rescued.

    Special to The Herald

    QUITO - More than 100 Ecuadoreans aboard a ship apparently smuggling them toward the United States are believed to have drowned when their craft sank in the rough waters of the Pacific Ocean, authorities said Wednesday.

    Nine survivors found clinging to a wooden box and buoys on Sunday told rescuers that the small fishing boat, designed to carry a crew of about 15, sunk late last week.

    The survivors were found by a fishing boat off the Colombian coast, according to reports from Ecuadorean officials and the Colombian navy.

    Between 113 and 120 passengers were on board, according to reports. Thirteen people survived the sinking, but four later drowned, authorities said.

    ''The chances are very slim that there will be any more survivors,'' Ecuadorean Navy Capt. Armando Elizalde said in an interview with local television stations.


    An unknown number of Ecuadoreans -- thousands each year, according to migration officials here -- illegally migrate each year to the United States from Ecuador's Pacific coast. Many of the migrants come from the country's poor and mountainous southern central provinces.

    Eight of the survivors of last week's shipwreck were from that region.

    The would-be migrants pay smugglers from $5,000 to $10,000 each to crowd onto small fishing boats that shove off from isolated beaches at night.

    The smuggling boats usually try to land their human cargo in Central America; from there the migrants travel by land to reach the United States, according to Ecuadorean immigration officials.

    Only last week, a U.S. Coast Guard vessel rescued 69 Ecuadoreans and two Peruvians from a foundering ship in international waters off the coast of Guatemala. Of that group, seven were minors.

    And in May, a Costa Rican fishing boat rescued 88 Ecuadoreans and Peruvians from a stalled ship after the fishing boat's crew found a message in a bottle the migrants had tied to a float marking a fishing line.

    U.S. and Ecuadorean authorities coordinate their patrols against migrant smuggling, but the Quito government has limited resources to control its 1,000 miles of Pacific coastline.

    The ship that sank last week was believed to have sailed form a point near Manta, a fishing port north of the industrial city of Guayaquil.

    ''The boat, with way too many people aboard, was unable to resist a strong wave and it tipped over,'' Elizalde said, adding that most of the would-be migrants were in the boat's cargo hold when it went under.


    One female survivor could only communicate with her hands because her face was so ravaged by the sun that the skin on her cheeks cracked when she tried to talk, according to reports from journalists in Manta who were given a few minutes to talk to the group.

    The seven men and two women rescued are reported to be in stable physical condition, Elizalde added.

    Ecuadorean Adm. Eduardo Navas, general director of the country's merchant marine, told local journalists that the boat that sank probably measured no more than about 65 feet in length.

    To have loaded so many people on that ship, he added, ``was a crime.''
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Mar 2005
    If they can afford to pay so much to smugglers...why in the world can't they stay home and invest in their own country?? That kind of money in Ecuador could set you up comfortably for a long time.

    The men who try to do something and fail are infinitely better than those who try to do nothing and succeed. " - Lloyd Jones

  3. #3
    Senior Member MopheadBlue's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner
    If they can afford to pay so much to smugglers...why in the world can't they stay home and invest in their own country?? That kind of money in Ecuador could set you up comfortably for a long time.

    That's exactly the thing that struck me. Something's not right with this picture. Many Americans don't even have $5,000 tucked away but are living from paycheck to paycheck.

    So, it begs the question - where is this money coming from?

  4. #4
    mochilero's Avatar
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    Jan 1970

    The Reason

    $10,000 would go far in Ecuador, but it isn't their money. Typically, friends and relatives in the U.S. work their butts off to save the money, then send it to them. They have to work to repay it once in the U.S.


  5. #5
    Senior Member LegalUSCitizen's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Welcome to ALIPAC, Mochilero.
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