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The Mona Canal, the dangerous Caribbean passage in which dozens of migrants die every year trying to reach the US.

  • Ronald Ávila-Claudio – @ronaldavilapr
  • BBC News World

The Monito islet in the Mona Passage near which migrants are often stranded.  It measures about 5 kilometers and is inaccessible by sea.

image source, US Coast Guard

Caption,

The Monito islet in the Mona Passage near which migrants are often stranded. It measures about 5 kilometers and is inaccessible by sea.

Far from the mainland, when his eyes “only saw sky and water”, he regretted undertaking the journey. Irisbel Herrera thought that she was going to die in that wooden boat whipped by the waves.

Almost two decades have passed, but the woman still vividly remembers what she experienced when she crossed the Mona Channela small stretch of sea that separates the Dominican Republic of Puerto Rico.

“The trip was distressing. It was something desperate. I thought: ‘My God, what did I do? I left to help my family and maybe I will never see them again,'” he says from the living room of his house in Río Piedras, a neighborhood of San Juan, the Puerto Rican capital.

He is 40 years old and of Dominican nationality. She is one of the thousands of people who, to reach the United States, have irregularly crossed the passage that extends about 112 kilometers.

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