Seven arrests made in Colombian “human trafficking” ring. Affecting all of LATAM.

The network ‘gave foreigners lodging, food, transportation and false documentation’

Colombian authorities detained seven alleged members of a criminal network known as ‘Los Coyoteros’ that was dedicated to smuggling migrants from the borders with Venezuela and Ecuador, and located six buses with more than 100 migrants that were going to be transported illegally, reported this Friday the Prosecutor’s Office.

This is Alba Guerrero Salazar, alias ‘Ruby’; Richard Fernández Pérez, alias ‘Tasmania’; Yolanda Trejo Romo, alias ‘Yolanda’; Luisa Fernanda Acevedo, alias ‘La Flaca’; Ángel Trejo Romo; alias ‘El Cuencano’; Carlos Manuel Rosales Cortes, alias ‘La Foca’, and Arturo Taquez Rosales, who were detained by the authorities in an operation that occurred in Ipiales, a city located in the department of Nariño, on the border with Ecuador.

In this operation, in which a home and a parking lot were raided, 23 million pesos ($5,536) in cash and more than $6,000 packed in briefcases were also seized.

“Likewise, six buses were located that intended to illegally transport 126 migrants of different nationalities,” the information added.

According to the prosecuting body, the defendants were in charge of contacting migrants in Cúcuta, capital of Norte de Santander (northeast) and the main border with Venezuela, and Ipiales (south), the main border with Ecuador.

After contact, the victims were sent to Necoclí, in the department of Antioquia (northwest), where they were taken to pass by land – through the Darién jungle – or by sea to Panama.

The network “gave foreign citizens lodging, food, transportation and false documentation,” for which migrants had to pay up to $6,000 per person, the Prosecutor’s Office detailed in a statement.

They were also charged for entering and leaving the country, with rates ranging from $20 to $500. If citizens did not pay the money, they took away their false documents, physically abused them and threatened them with firearms.

For this reason, the seven detainees were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and migrant trafficking, charges that were not accepted.

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