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Bimini has long history of human smuggling

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-08-08 06:18 PM
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Bimini has long history of human smuggling
Posted on Monday, 12.08.08
Bimini has long history of human smuggling

The Bahamian island of Bimini, only 50 miles from Miami, has a long heritage of human smuggling that continues today
Bimini's long history of smuggling turns to human cargo

Its proximity to the U.S. has made Bimini a portal for generations of illegal migrants, primarily from Cuba and Haiti.
Miami Herald Staff


Sipping on a breakfast of Barton light rum, Eric Hinzey sits on a wall near Bimini's beach, squints his one good eye, and gestures across the 50 miles of ocean separating the Bahamian islandfrom Miami.

''People come from Haiti and Cuba and other places, and we try to get them over there,'' said Hinzey, 49, shrugging. ``You're not doing anything wrong. You're just trying to save people's lives.''

Hinzey is one of Bimini's many ''former'' smugglers, those who joined its long history of capitalizing on its tantalizing proximity to the United States.

Despite a sign in the marina that calls Bimini the ''Gateway to the Bahamas,'' for generations of migrants from the Caribbean, Latin America and even as far away as China, this sandy spit of land has been the illegal portal to the United States by way of South Florida.

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