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Brazil Investigates Identity of Decomposed Corpses Found in Drifting Boat

Last Saturday, some Brazilian fishermen found a small boat with several bodies in an advanced state of decomposition when they were fishing off the coast of the State of Pará, in the northeast. The bodies are in such poor condition that it is not even known how many there are, although the Public Ministry points out, citing local witnesses, that there may be 20 bodies, according to the local press. The authorities have deployed an extensive operation to rescue the deceased, find out who they are and how they died. The suspicion is that they are foreigners, perhaps African or Haitian immigrants who were trying to reach Brazil by boat, because there is no news of missing local fishermen in that area.

The rescue tasks are being really difficult because the point in the Atlantic where the boat was located is in front of a very rugged coastal area, sparsely populated and very difficult to access. Low tide, sandbars and the need to preserve the integrity of the vessel hampered efforts to tow it. Only with the water rising and under the surveillance of a helicopter was it possible to move the boat to the city of Bragança (Pará). It arrived this Monday at dawn, so the forensic experts and experts have not been able to begin the identification tasks of the bodies and the boat until now.

The operation is moving against the clock, as one of the rescuers explained to the Brazilian media G1: “It is a mission that requires haste, because the more days pass, the decomposition advances and it becomes more difficult for the specialists to work. You have to work very carefully, safely so as not to damage the boat, navigating in very shallow areas,” explained fire lieutenant Hugo Moura.

One of the rescuers who inspected the boat with the bodies on Saturday, hours after they were located, explained to the same media: “Due to the state they are in, very dehydrated, a long time has passed, perhaps even more than a month.” , according to firefighter Tadeu Barbosa.

The NGO Caminando Fronteras, which is a reference for boats with immigrants that make the crossing between Africa and the Spanish coast, points out that the boat located in Brazil could be a Mauritanian canoe in view of its elongated shape, white hull and interior. blue, reports the Efe agency.

In 2021, a team of Associated Press journalists documented the arrival in the Caribbean and Brazilian waters of seven ghost ships, filled with bodies, that had apparently set sail from the Atlantic coast of Africa. Possibly they were heading to Spain, the closest European country.

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