Colombia urges LatAm action against human traffickers

Felipe Muñoz Gomez, director of Colombian security agency DAS, called for greater cooperation between Latin American nations to tackle the problem of human trafficking, during the First Ibero-American Congress on Migration in Cartagena, according to a press release from the Colombian Presidency.

The conference, attended by delegates from more than twenty countries, will discuss statistics on migration in Colombia, the state of Latin America’s borders, and state action to combat human trafficking.

“In Colombia in 2009, the DAS deported 324 foreigners … The highest number of deportations is of Chinese citizens, although the last few years have seen a rise from African citizens, especially Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia, with 91 cases in total during 2009,” said Gomez.

The director expressed his concern that an increasing number of Africans are paying fees of between $10,000 and $60,000 to powerful smuggling networks, in exchange for taking them to destinations like the U.S. in conditions that violate their human rights.

He said that better cooperation was needed to achieve permanent control of the borders, noting that DAS had strengthened Colombia’s borders by establishing patrols equipped with identity verification technology.

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