One dead and a boy missing off one of the two small boats carrying migrants trying to cross from Costa Rica to Nicaragua that capsized Friday night, authorities reported.
The Ministerio de Seguridad Pública (MSP) said at least 19 migrants, said to be from Africa and Mongolia, were on board the boat apparently crashed into a Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas (National Coast Guard) vessel in Bahía Salinas de La Cruz (Salinas Bay), Guanacaste.
In the accident, occurring around 7:00 pm Friday, an adult man died, while a four-year old boy remains missing, confirmed the MSP.
In total, there 32 people, nine of them children, on the two boats, one of them without a motor.
Gustavo Mata, Minister of Security, confirmed the death of the adult and the disappearance of the child and confirmed that the two alleged ‘coyotes’ (traffickers of people) who traveled in the boats escaped, presumed to have swum to shore after the shipwreck (naufragio in Spanish).
Authorities said the two boats were named Emilia Elizabeth and San Juan del Sur; the latter with the national flag of Nicaragua.
The minister added that the survivors were transferred to the Puerto Soley emergency post, and eventually transferred to a medical center in Liberia.
Today, authorities are continuing their search for the small boy.
Thousands of people from Africa and Asia pass through Central America each year in efforts to reach the United States.
In the area of La Cruz, hundreds of foreign nationals, mainly from African nations, are being housed in temporary camps while Nicaragua continues with closed borders to migrants.