IOM concludes first Tri-National Conference on Illicit Trafficking of Migrants and Related Crimes between Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica
More than 200 people participated during the month of August in the two sessions of the first Tri-National Conference (Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama) on the crime of migrant smuggling. At this event, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) brought together migration officials and police teams from the three countries to improve intergovernmental response capacity and strengthen police investigation processes.
The conference was aimed at police teams that specialize in the investigation and punishment of this crime in each country. Experts in the field of the crime of migrant smuggling and related crimes from the police forces of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Guatemala, as well as experts from ILANUD, and the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) of the United States of America, participated.
"The smuggling of migrants is a highly complex crime, which is constantly evolving due to the formation and restructuring of human resources, increasingly professional and technical, which unfortunately make up these groups," explained Yagnna Nicolas, ILANUD researcher. "It is necessary to generate more information and social prevention channels to alert migrants about the multiple risks they could face when starting their journeys".
Based on this experience, participants and organizers expect to establish broader cooperation networks to combat the migrant smuggling, through the exchange of new knowledge, the use of new technologies and research mechanisms, the proper handling of information and the development of operations aimed at strengthening bilateral and regional actions.
The activity was managed by IOM, within the framework of the Regional Program on Migration Mesoamerica- The Caribbean, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. The United Nations Latin American Institute for the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders (ILANUD), the Ministry of Security of Panama, the Directorate General of Migration and Aliens of Costa Rica, the National Coalition against Illicit Trafficking in Migrants and Persons of Costa Rica, the Professional Migration Police of Costa Rica, Migration Colombia and the National Police of Colombia also participated in the coordination.