Monday, June 30, 2008

Two Cuban escapees still on the loose

Two Cuban escapees still on the loose

By ROGAN M. SMITH, Guardian Senior Reporter,

Two Cuban men who escaped from the Carmichael Road Detention Center
earlier this month are still on the run.

Authorities are hunting for Ariel Delgado Rodriguez and Felipe Espinosa
Leon – both of Villa Clara, Cuba.

Immigration Director, Vernon Burrows could not confirm whether the men,
who managed to elude security forces since they fled, are still in The

The Cubans are part of a group of four men who scaled over 12-foot
fences at the detention center.

Authorities recaptured two men, one Cuban and the other, Honduran, 48
hours after their escape.

But in giving an update on the two escaped Cubans, Burrows said
yesterday, "We haven't found them yet, but of course investigations are
continuing. I don't know if they are still here or gone or what."

He added, "We have no information to suggest that they are still here,
but we don't have information that would suggest that they are gone either."

Illegal migrants are housed at the center while they wait to be
repatriated or have their asylum claims reviewed.

Detainees and human rights groups have complained of mistreatment of
migrants at the facility, which successive government have denied.

Migrants at the detention center facility have climbed over or cut
through perimeter fences with some regularity in recent years.

Last November, three Cuban men scaled the facility's walls.

Several months earlier, five Cuban migrants broke out from the center
during the afternoon visiting period.

In the days following this recent escape, Baptist Bishop Simeon Hall
hinted that "corruption" may be at the heart of why Cubans and other
illegal immigrants regularly escape from the Carmichael Road Detention

In a letter addressed to Minister of State for Immigration Elma
Campbell, Bishop Hall said he found it "amazing" that persons seem able
to walk out of the detention center with apparent ease and impunity.

He charged that the breakouts seem to occur almost all too regularly.

"The ease with which persons, especially Cubans, can escape with such
regularity out of places that are supposed to be guarded by members of
security and defense forces, gives credence to the charges of corruption
in these institutions," Hall said.

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