Woman and man who died in human-smuggling disaster off Black’s Beach are identified

Beach-goers walk past two pangas that overturned off Black’s Beach late March 11. Eight migrants died.
(Nelvin C. Cepeda / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Ana Jacqueline Figueroa Perez, 23, and Paul Diaz Lopez, 50, were among eight migrants who died March 11.


The San Diego County medical examiner’s office has released the names of a 23-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man who were among eight migrants from Mexico who drowned this month after two boats capsized off Black’s Beach in La Jolla.

Ana Jacqueline Figueroa Perez and Paul Diaz Lopez were the fifth and sixth victims to be identified publicly.

Others who drowned were Alma Rosa Figueroa Gorgonio, 17; Yecenia Lazcano Soriano, 22; Guillermo Suarez Gonzalez, 23; and Eloy Hernandez Baltazar, 48.

Officials call it ‘one of the most deadly maritime events in San Diego’s history.’

Medical examiner’s investigators had not yet confirmed the identities of the two other migrants.

Five of the people identified were from the east-central Mexican state of Puebla, according to Carlos González Gutierrez, the consul general of Mexico in San Diego. Another was from the western state of Jalisco.

The tragedy occurred at about 11:30 p.m. March 11 south of the Torrey Pines Gliderport. A Spanish-speaking woman called 911 saying she and seven other people were on a boat that made it to shore and that eight to 15 others were on a second boat that capsized.

Lifeguards and other emergency crews found that both boats had capsized and found the eight victims in the ocean and along the sand. Crews did not encounter the 911 caller or find other bodies during an hours-long search, leading officials to believe that other people who presumably were on the boats fled before crews arrived. ◆