AST Digital Magazine July/August 2016 - Page 56

Volume 6 41 Arrested in Multinational Human Smuggling Takedown July-Aug 2016 Edition “Operation Mesoamerica” took place in Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. Among those arrested was Luis Leonardo Mejia Pasapera, the alleged head of a TCO operating in Guatemala and the region. Pasapera, a Peruvian national, was fraudulently living as a Guatemalan citizen. He was arrested on June 28 by the Guatemalan National Police in Guatemala City, Guatemala. “This operation is a reflection of the multilateral commitment to identifying and dismantling criminal networks involved in the illicit movement of people,” said ICE Director Sarah R. Saldaña. “Through this effort, we are demonstrating that when it comes to protecting our borders, the international community will operate as one in a united front against those involved in human smuggling.” Luis Leonardo Mejia Pasapera, the alleged head of a TCO operating in Guatemala and the region. He was arrested on June 28 by the Guatemalan National Police in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Forty-one individuals linked to transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) responsible for smuggling hundreds of individuals through South and Central America into the United States were arrested by foreign partners last week in two separate multinational operations under U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) ongoing efforts in the region as part of Operation Citadel. “Operation Mesoamerica” was a 15-month multinational investigation that began with a tip from the ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Assistant Attaché Office in Merida, Mexico, and ended Tuesday, June 28, with the arrest of 27 individuals throughout Central America. A second human smuggling investigation yielded 14 arrests on Monday, June 27, in Colombia. “Operation Mesoamerica” took place in Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. (Image: ICE Michael Johnson) Operation Mesoamerica-(Image: ICE Michael )ͽ()٥ѡɕɥѡٕѥѥɕٕѡЁAͅɄݽɭݥѠѡȁQ =́)A фI!Ʌ́Mم)Ѽ͵՝٥Յ́ɽͥɥɽ)ѡ5Ёѡɽ՝MѠɥ) ɅɥɑѼЁյ̰)AͅɄɝɽ᥵ѕ䀐UM)ȁ٥Յ!́ɔѡ啅́ɥͽаչե)QՅѕ9ѥAɕѕ٥Յ̰ՑAͅɄ=ѡ͔݅́)ЁՅѕ9ѥAȸ)Յѕ́ͼᕍѕ؁͕ɍ݅Ʌ́ЁɕЁѥ́ѡɽ՝Ёѡչ)͕饹ٕ̰ѽɍ危̰չ̰չѥ((0