The death toll in the capsizing off northwestern Colombia of a boat carrying migrants has risen to at least 12, seven of them children, officials said Thursday.
Another 18 people remain missing after Monday’s tragedy, when a wave upended the boat, leaving its passengers adrift at sea, according to Lilia Cordoba, the mayor of the Colombian coastal town of Acandi.
The migrants, who were trying to reach Panama, were from Africa, the regional human rights ombudsman, Rafael Bolanos, told AFP.
The Colombian navy, with help from police, found five more bodies on Thursday on top of the seven already recovered.
According to survivors, the boat was carrying 32 people — 18 adults and 14 children.
The Gulf of Uraba, where the boat capsized, is one of the main transit points for African, Asian and Haitian migrants trying to reach the US through the Caribbean, often making stops in Central American countries.
Since the beginning of the year, the Colombian military has rescued 84 shipwreck survivors and recovered 19 bodies.
The navy said it was continuing its search and expects to find more bodies.