Trafficking network of migrants involved in the death of 19 foreigners in Capurganá
The Office of the Prosecutor and Migration Colombia, with the support of the US agency ICE, managed to capture seven persons designated to coordinate the departure of migrants from the shores of Chocó to Panama, this network would be involved in the shipwreck registered at the end of January in Capurganá, where 19 illegal travelers lost their lives.
The discovery of 19 African citizens killed by the wreck of an artisanal vessel in the Caribbean Sea, near Capurganá - Chocó, allowed to know details of the cruelty of a criminal structure responsible for migrant smuggling from several coastal points of Colombia to Panama and other countries of Central America.
The tragedy that occurred at the end of January of this year brought the attention of a group of investigators and prosecutors who, with the support of Migración Colombia and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service of the United States (ICE), took on the task of identify and locate each one of the members of the structure responsible for the irregular departure of foreigners.
Thanks to the testimonies and the physical and technical evidence gathered, the prosecutor of knowledge obtained seven arrest warrants against the people who would be part of the criminal network. The judicial proceedings were carried out in nearby Capurganá (Chocó) and municipality.
The detainees, among them a woman known as 'Mama Africa' and presumed leader of the criminal organization, will be presented before a judge of control of guarantees for the crimes of:
Homicide with eventual fraud.
Concert to commit a crime
Trafficking of migrants
According to the investigations, the members of the illegal network received citizens from Congo, Eritrea, India, Cuba and Haiti who entered irregularly into Colombia through the border with Ecuador. The migrants began their journey in Ipiales (Nariño) and by land they were transferred to Turbo or Necoclí (Antioquia).
At this point of Uraba Antioquia, foreigners were in charge of a group that charged $ 300 for transporting them to Capurganá and Bahía Solano (Chocó), housing them in family homes or small lodgings and providing them with food. There they stayed for some days and, later, they moved them to different coastal points to ship them in craft boats that went rumba to Panama. This last movement was carried out late at night or at dawn to evade the maritime controls of the authorities.
Precisely, in the investigation it was found that this illegal procedure was the one carried out a month ago with 27 African citizens, among them children and pregnant women, who were shipwrecked in the Caribbean Sea. So far it is known of the death of 18 adults and one minor.
The seven people captured are:
David Alejando Bolívar Ricardo, who would be in charge of coordinating the hotels and the lodging places.
Ludis María Rivera González, alias La Madrina, designated to provide lodging and logistical elements to the immigrants for their maintenance during the stay in Capurganá. In the case of La Madrina, there are telephone intercepts where communications are recorded with boatmen and "coyotes" who were in charge of coordinating the routes and schedules to get the migrants out.
Nelson Martinez Villeros, aka El Gordo. This person would be the owner of the boat that sank on January 28 last. Alias El Gordo, would be in charge of a so-called 'safe' and to organize the itineraries.
Edwin Vivero Hidalgo was the pilot of the boat that sank on January 28. About Nursery
Amauri Núñez, would be one of the people linked to the tragedy of January 28. He is considered one of the assistants of alias El Gordo.
Libardo From Jesús Muñoz. This person allegedly received the remittances sent by the migrants for their maintenance.
Walter Muñoz Rivera, according to the investigation, would profit from the money received from the activity