The Local Prosecutor’s Office and Interpol said in a statement on Monday that Chilean police have arrested nine people and dismantled a smuggling ring in Haiti whose aim was to leave Chile for Mexico and the United States.
The investigative police (civilian) dismantled a gang that facilitated the departure of Haitians who sought to leave Chile “with their Chilean families and children in the hope of settling in the United States”, through illegal passages from the city of Arica, in the northern border with Peru.
The memo added that “the Central Prosecutor’s Office in the North formally awarded nine people to commit the crime of smuggling migrants, leaving eight of them in preventive detention.”
The Interpol office in Lyon, France, indicated that the detainees are four Chileans, two Venezuelans, a Peruvian, Haiti and Paraguay, all of whom have been identified as part of an organization to smuggle migrants.
So far, 267 Chilean children under the age of six – all children of Haitian immigrants who were to leave Chile – have been detected through irregular corridors in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala and Mexico, whose destination was the United States.
Some minors were in the care of other adults as they were abandoned or their parents died on the way.
“It is appalling to think of what these vulnerable children have gone through, some of whom are only a few years old,” said Jürgen Stock, Secretary General of INTERPOL.
The authorities suspect that this smuggling network led to the departure of about 1,000 Haitians from Chile via illegal routes in order to reach Mexico and the United States.
The prosecution said that this organization is also engaged in smuggling Venezuelan, Haitian and Cuban migrants from Peru to Chile, “evading border and police controls with grave risks to the health, physical safety and life of the smuggled migrants.”
The arrest of this gang comes amid the growing presence of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, trying to cross on foot through secret border crossings from Bolivia and Peru into Chile, causing protests in cities such as Iquique and Santiago in favor of and against immigration. .
msa / pb / yow
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