A total of 268 people were detained in Latin America and the Caribbean for human trafficking or of immigrants in a large operation at the Pan-American level coordinated by Interpol, according to reported the body this Wednesday.
The fourth edition of the “Turquoise” operation took place between November 28 and December 2 and associated police forces from the continent with the international organization based in Lyon (France).
impressive results of #OperationTurquoise IV: 268 migrant smugglers and human traffickers arrested, 9,015 migrants detected, 128 women + two men rescued from forced labor and sexual exploitation https://t.co/qRsMLzGl4l pic.twitter.com/yoN5E8VJps
— INTERPOL (@INTERPOL_HQ) December 14, 2022
The operation detected a total of 9,015 immigrants and released 126 women and two men victims of trafficking, according to provisional data released this Wednesday in a statement. Most of the victims were of Venezuelan and Colombian nationality.
“Human and migrant smuggling are multimillion-dollar criminal businesses that finance organized crime groups and violate the fundamental rights of victims,” said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock, quoted by efe.
During the operation, the agents carried out reinforced controls in areas previously identified as “key points”, especially border crossings, bus terminals and airports.
Many cases referred to the interception in Central America of migrants “from all over the world”, as well as the detection in Mexico of 2,400 people from the American continent (Cuba and Venezuela), Africa (Angola, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Ethiopia) and Asia (Bangladesh and Nepal).
In Nicaragua, the police detected more than 2,000 migrants from African, Asian and American countries (mainly Haiti and Ecuador), bound for the United States and Canada. In Chile, border controls with Bolivia and Peru detected some 300 Venezuelan and Bolivian migrants, including several minors.
The Central American migratory route: testimony of a Cuban migrant (II)
Among other examples, Brazilian authorities arrested four people suspected of trying to smuggle 21 migrants from Cuba and South Africa between French Guiana and Brazil.
And in Honduras, a 30-year-old woman was arrested for organizing the sexual exploitation of three minors.
With information from Interpol and Efe.