El Salvador: Human Trafficking Network Dismantled

SAN SALVADOR (HPD) — In a joint effort between the Public Ministries of El Salvador and Guatemala, Salvadoran police on Tuesday captured 11 people who were part of a human trafficking structure that charged victims up to $15,000 to illegally take them to the United States. Joined.

The Specialized Unit for Trafficking and Illegal Trafficking of Persons of the Prosecutor’s Office reported in a press report that the traffickers, known as “coyotes”, took their victims through different blind spots on the border and charged them between 10,000 and 15,000 dollars to take them illegally to the United States. The payment was higher if it was a minor traveling alone.

Prosecutors and police carried out 16 raids in different areas of the department of Ahuachapán, bordering Guatemala, where they seized vehicles, motorcycles, cash, cell phones and drugs, it was reported.

Simultaneously, raids were carried out in the municipality of Ilobasco, in the central department of Cabañas, as well as in several municipalities in the departments of San Miguel and La Unión -in the east of the country- and in the Salvadoran capital.

The investigation, which included the participation of the Public Ministry of Guatemala, began in 2021 and allowed the detection of 42 victims of various coyotes. According to the report, some migrants managed to complete the journey.

Those captured will be prosecuted in the courts for the crimes of illegal trafficking and human trafficking. According to the Penal Code, if found guilty they could be punished with a sentence of between four and eight years in prison. The same sanction would be received for the crime of human trafficking.

According to statistics from the United States Customs and Border Protection Office (CBP), in the first eight months of the year, 68,691 Salvadorans were detained on the southern border of the United States, a figure 22% lower than the registered in 2021.

It is estimated that more than 2.5 million Salvadorans live in the United States and of these more than 150,000 reside and work in that country thanks to a temporary protection immigration status known as TPS, whose last extension will expire in December of this year.

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