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Haitians who died in failed smuggling operation to be buried

Nine of the 17 Haitians who died in a failed human smuggling operation will be buried next week, Haitian Chargé d’Affaires Louis Harold said yesterday.

He said the funeral will be held on October 1 at 12 p.m. but indicated that a location has not been determined yet.

Harold said the funeral home the Haitian Embassy is working with collected the unclaimed bodies this week.

“I was planning to hold the funeral this weekend,” he told The Nassau Guardian.

“Unfortunately, the funeral home told me the time is difficult to work on the nine bodies. They told me it should be next week. I’m following the advice. I am moving to hold the funeral next week.”

Harold said the Haitian government will pay for the funeral.

He said it is still working on the final cost of the funeral.

Authorities reported that 45 people were on board a 33-foot twin-engine vessel when it capsized four to five nautical miles from the entrance of Nassau Harbour shortly after 1 a.m. on July 24.

Seventeen people, including a one-year-old girl – all believed to be Haitians – died in the tragedy.

Harold said eight of the bodies were claimed.

Speaking about the unclaimed bodies, he said, “I asked the funeral home to take pictures. With the pictures, I am going to ask the community if they can come to the embassy to identify the bodies.

“We think it is important for the families to have the death certificates. The death certificates are really very important. We are going to work on that in collaboration with the Haitian churches here. We’re going to ask them to publish that in the church so people can come to identify the dead.”

Four men were charged with 18 counts of manslaughter in connection with the tragedy.

An 18th count was for manslaughter of an unborn child because one of the 17 victims was pregnant.

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Jasper Ward

Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues. Education: Goldsmiths, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice

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