San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Smuggler’s Boat Capsizes in Nicaraguan River, Kills 5

MANAGUA – Five people were killed, three were reported missing and 57 others were arrested when a boat packed with illegal immigrants collided last weekend with another vessel in Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean region, officials said.

Police on Saturday recovered the bodies of three unidentified Chinese migrants, a 22-year-old female Ecuadorian migrant and a Nicaraguan “coyote,” or human smuggler, from the KukraRiver in the South Atlantic Autonomous Region.

The coyote killed in the May 25 boat collision was identified as Tranquilino Medina.

Police said the Ecuadorian woman who died had been traveling with her 5-year-old daughter, who was not injured in the accident and was taken to Managua to be put into custody of the Ministry of Family. The mother was buried in the municipal cemetery in Kukra Hill.

Authorities in the city of Bluefields said three other Ecuadorians were reported missing after the accident and the search for them would continue.

Police said five Nicaraguan smugglers were arrested. The suspects allegedly were bringing the migrants, whose final destination was the United States, into the country from the south.

Thirty-eight Chinese nationals and 14 Ecuadorians were also detained by police.

The accident occurred early May 25 and the vessel carrying the illegal immigrants sank in the KukraRiver. The survivors were taken into custody by police in Bluefields.


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