Bringing Light to the Darkness of Human Trafficking (Trafficking in Persons)

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Chitre, Panama, Sep 13 (Prensa Latina) The Panamanian police and Prosecutor's Office dismantled a human trafficking network and rescued 23 victims of labor exploitation, while operations continue today in this central Panamanian city.

The authorities reported that those rescued were Venezuelan and Chinese citizens, and early reports indicated that the criminal network offered migrants work in Panama and smuggled them into the country.

The rescued persons were taken to the Public Prosecutor's Office in Chitre to make their statements and verify their documents to determine if they had been altered.

Last week, Panamanian Minister of Security Rolando Mirones commented to the press on the irregular migratory flow across the eastern border province of Darien.

'This is not only a migration issue, you have to see it in a larger context, and that context is human trafficking,' he noted, while calling on countries in the region to combat this crime.

'If you think that drug trafficking is bad, human trafficking is worse because we turn human beings into merchandise,' he stressed and explained that migrants who wander the border with Colombia pay between 25,000 and 50,000 dollars to travel from South America to the United States.

'Some die on the way because of human traffickers, so the only way to stop it is with an international effort because there are many countries involved,' he emphasized.

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