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“Haiti Is Like Hell Right Now”

The Turks and Caicos Islands might have to brace itself for another round of Haitian migrant influx as many of that country’s nationals, apprehended as they attempted to enter the U.S. via South and Central America, said they rather die than live in the economically impoverished, environmentally dented, and politically fragile island nation.

Migrants wade through the Rio Grande from Del Rio, Texas, to Ciudad Acuna in Mexico as they go back and forth for supplies

Fiterson Janvier, one of the migrants who have made the 11-country trek in the 13-year journey, told the BBC that death would be more rewarding for him than to go back to Haiti at this time.

He told the BBC that the August 7.2 magnitude earthquake, which mostly affected his home village of Les Cayes, killed his mother and rendered his father a leg amputee.

"Haiti is like hell for me now," he says with seriousness. "There is nothing for me there. Nothing. If they're going to send me back, they may as well just kill me. Just end it all."

He said such sentiment has been shared by many other of his countrymen.

"There does seem to be a level of desperation from the families from Haiti right now," he says.

"They say there's no option to go back, no safe place to go back to, no possibility of a life that's worth living."

Janvier told the BBC that amid the uncertainty, it is the impotence - the near-total lack of agency over his circumstances - which hurts him the most.

"If I could talk to the president," he trails off. "But who am I? I'm no-one."

"It's like the world doesn't want those of us who have this colour", pointing to his black skin.

"This world doesn't want to see us. And I don't know what to do."

He said the journey to reach the United States was treacherous, as he witnessed death, robbery, and rape of the travellers.

He said as he took his young family across the Darien Gap, seven days through the dense jungle between Colombia and Panama, he saw the dead bodies of other Haitian and Cuban migrants.

He describes being robbed of what little he had by "bandits", most likely members of violent drug and people-smuggling gangs which operate in the region. He said some of the women were raped, although his wife managed to hide with the child when the gang appeared.

Migrant rights groups estimate that in Mexico alone as many as 80% of migrants were victimised, extorted or abused on their journey, many of them by the police and the immigration authorities.

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