WASHINGTON, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - Foreign minister of Honduras, Mireya Agüero de Corrales, told a meeting of Central American foreign ministers at the Wilson Center on Thursday that the humanitarian crisis of migrant minors is one and the same as the international crime networks and must be addressed multilaterally by all nations involved in the routes.
“There is a war being waged in our territory,” said Corrales, referring to the international organized crime networks that thrive along Central American routes.
“When I talk about organized transnational crime, I’m talking about certain difficulties tied to migration, the trafficking in people, of minors, sexual exploitation, labor exploitation,” the minister continued.
“The core relationship in Honduras of the routes of drug trafficking and organized crime, and those cities from which the large flow of migrations come, is one and the same,” she added.
Corrales was asked who was to blame for the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors who have fled to the United States since October. She said, “It is a shared responsibility.”
According to a July 22 press release from the US Office of Homeland Security, after less than a month into its operation, DHS has arrested 192 smugglers and their associates, and seized $625,000 in illicit profits. Andrew Selee of the Wilson Center cited reports of a 50 percent drop in migration flows in just the past 15 days.
Hugo Martínez, foreign minister of El Salvador, stated that the sheer size of the transnational organized crime network cannot be tackled by one country alone.
“It is something we have to tackle jointly,” Martínez said.
He continued, “If we don’t come together in an all-out war against the organized crime, there is no other solution.”
Guatemalan foreign minister, Luis Fernando Carrera Castro, added that the United States also has a role to play in staunching the international criminal routes that traffic human beings as well as drugs.
“The first thing, very important, we have to attack the smuggling network,” Castro said.
The minister pointed out that in a recent Guatemalan bust of a criminal smuggling network, 14 were captured in Guatemala, 15 in Mexico, and 45 in Texas.
“The heads were based in Texas. So this is something that has to be understood,” he concluded.