Police blackmail Cuban migrants on their way through Guatemala

Police blackmail Cuban migrants on their way through Guatemala

A video broadcast on the networks shows a Guatemalan police officer allegedly blackmailing several Cuban migrants into allowing them to continue their migratory route through this Central American territory.

The video, shared by Miami-based Venezuelan journalist Sergio Novelli on his Instagram profile last Saturday, appears to have been filmed by a person in a vehicle arrested by police at an unspecified location in Guatemala.

The warden managed to arrest several Cuban migrants who were dropped off by the transport authority and hand over a sum of money to the police.

As he captures the moment the transaction takes place, the person recording it confirms: “Look at the Guatemalan police extorting money. The Cuban pays the money to be allowed to advance. To let them leave Guatemala. Look at the Guatemalan police officers receiving the money.”

After the transaction, the migrants appear to be able to return to the transport and continue on their route.

“This is among the vicissitudes that migrants face as they make their way through every Central American country in order to continue their journey,” Novelli commented in the publication sharing the video.

Recently, Guatemala, which has become a transit zone for Cuban migrants trying to reach the southern border of the United States, has tightened its immigration controls.

This was announced last Saturday Guatemalan authorities have expelled 27 irregular Cuban migrants in the last 72 hours, the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) reported to the media in that country.

Cubans and Venezuelans are the migrants who top the list of migrants protected and expelled from Guatemala so far in 2022, according to IGM statistics.

As of Thursday, July 28, the IGM facilities had protected 1,245 people of various nationalities who were arrested in joint operations with the National Civil Police, the Interior Ministry and the Guatemalan Army, according to Prensa Libre.

“The IGM statistics show that from Wednesday 27 July to this Thursday 28 July (at 7am) 44 people were housed and 72 were expelled. Of these 44 protected persons, 29 were from Venezuela and 15 from Cuba, while out of the 72 displaced people at that time, 43 were Venezuelans, 27 were Cubans and 2 were Ecuadorians,” the above-mentioned media outlet said.

Most of the irregular migrants intercepted were at bus stops intercepted. According to IGM, most of the passengers on these buses do not meet the migration and health requirements set by the Guatemalan authorities.

Stuard Rodríguez, Director General for Migration in the Central American country, pointed out that Cubans and Venezuelans are those being expelled from the country for not complying with immigration regulations, as well as those who are protected pending a response from the authorities regarding your immigration status; Lists that have increased so far this year.

With 374 protected migrants, Cuba tops the list of countries drawn up by the IGM. They are followed by Venezuela with 250; Honduras with 217; El Salvador with 144 and Nicaragua with 62 people are subject to immigration status checks.

Last week, The Guatemalan government confirmed that 12 Cuban migrants were arrested for entering its territory illegally.

The official statement was issued by the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) on July 26. They pointed out that 39 migrants of different nationalities visited the Migration Attention Center for Foreigners (CAMIEX) that day.

The foreigners were arrested for being in Guatemala irregularly. Among them are 14 Venezuelans, 12 Cubans, 2 Ecuadorians, 1 Colombian and 10 Indians.

The Guatemalan police also confirmed this last Tuesday the arrest of another Cuban that he was part of a group of 33 illegal migrants who were intercepted on a bus ride in the town of Chimaltenango and arrested by a suspected coyote.

A week earlier they had arrested a group of 49 illegal migrants, 45 of them were Cubans and three came from Georgia. They were intercepted en route to the city of Retalhuleu in the south of the Central American country.

The detained Cubans could be deported to their home country or expelled from Guatemala across another border in that area, as happened on July 24 with a group of 14 immigrants (11 men and 3 women) from the island. In an official statement, the IGM said they were taken by the police to the border of their former origins and gave no further information on this.