54 Colombian women have been detained in Trinidad and Tobago as part of a human trafficking network, Caracol Radio reported on Tuesday.
Ilba Miriam Hoyos Castañeda, assistant Attorney General for the Rights of Child, Adolescent and Family, said that human trafficking in Colombia, which is part of continent-wide networks, is a very sensitive issue.
She said that a report had been received regarding the incarceration of Colombian women in a Trinidad and Tobago prison. The women, she said, were victims of a trafficking network operating inside the country, using the corridor of La Dorada in Caldas, Buenaventura, and the Cauca Valley in Cali in Colombia’s south. From there the women were transferred to Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago.
According to Hoyos Castañeda, the organizer of the trafficking network denounced the Trinidadian authorities for their failure to uncover his illicit doings.
The position of the imprisoned Colombian women is particularly difficult as many of them are pregnant and in poor health. The Attorney added that the issue is further complicated by the fact that human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago is not a crime.
To make matters worse, there is no Colombian consulate in Trinidad and Tobago, so all paperwork must be processed through Venezuela. For this reason, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is trying to provide advice and support to the detained women in order to expedite their freedom.