Argentine authorities freed more than 200 Colombian victims of human trafficking, Colombian media reported Thursday.
In the operations, 23 Colombians were arrested, accused of recruiting their compatriots for slave labor in various parts of Argentina. The operations were conducted through 72 raids in several provinces and involved more than 500 police officers and members of security forces.
Director of Consular Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Alvaro Calderon, said the raids were the results of years of investigation. According to the Minister, authorities are still investigating other possibl cases of human trafficking,
Concerning the status of the 202 victims, Calderon stressed that the Foreign Ministry was ready to assist them.
“Once we have the permission and the authorization from the Prosecutor General’s Office, we will begin the assistance process, which will be handled by the foreign ministry,” Calderon said.
The director said that the victims had been working, “without any warranties of labor or health.” Calderon further stated that they would receive legal assistance — as well social, including medical assistance, food and shelter.
According to Calderon, “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and most particularly this administration has put a deep emphasis to combat human trafficking.”