Updated 05:18 AM EDT, Mon, Jun 14, 2021

Costa Rica News: Police Apprehend Human Traffickers Smuggling Cuban Migrants Into the U.S.

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The Cuban migrant crisis has become one of the pressing issues that has now become a target for organized crime networks. It was reported that more than 100 police had carried out eight raids across Costa Rica and targeted an organized crime network that smuggled Cuban migrants from Panama to Nicaragua en route to the United States.

The Tico Times reported that 13 people were arrested in the raids. Nine of those who were arrested were at the province of Guanacaste, where the crime network smuggled the Cubans across the border. According to the reports, the smugglers had sneaked Nicaraguans to the south and Cubans to the north. Immigration Director Kathya Rodríguez told the publication that all the migrants are in good hands.

The publication also reported that the smugglers, which was helmed by one Costa Rican woman had reportedly charged the Cuban between $7,000 and $15,000 to have them smuggled across the Central American border to the United States. The amount might increase by as much as $30,000 per head, the report said. The crime organization had reportedly smuggled to 40 people a day. Many of these migrants flee to the U.S. in hopes for a better life.

Vice News earlier reported that More Cubans are attempting to enter the United States by way of Mexico, where many of them can have the advantage can "safe passage" visas given by Mexican authorities. Almost seven out of ten Cubans enter the US from Mexico. The website reported that Mexico has seen a rapid threefold increase in immigration detentions of Cubans in just a year's time. 

It was also reported by The Tico Times that two hotels in San José, the El Capital and Los Gemelos - were raided.  Two people were since then arrested who were affiliated with the smugglers. Raids were also done across the Greater Metropolitan Area, and that includes San José and parts of Alajuela, Heredia and Cartago,  Aserrí, Desamparados, Alajuelita, Paso Ancho and Coris de Cartago. 

The Cuban migrants would be to jail in Hatillo, where they would be deported.  The Cubans would most likely be sent to Nicaragua, which accepts Cuban migrants, said Rodriguez in a press conference. 

Rodriguez also added that the increase of Cuban emigration through Costa Rica has significantly increased by  242 percent from just 50 Cuban migrants in 2011 to the 12,166 in September of this year.

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