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Four alleged Guatemalan human smugglers indicted in the U.S. have been arrested as part of a “significant” operation to “disrupt and dismantle a transnational human smuggling organization,” the Justice Department announced Thursday.
The individuals, who were taken into custody in the Central American country by request of the U.S., “allegedly conspired with other smugglers to facilitate the travel of large numbers of migrants from Guatemala through Mexico, and ultimately, to the United States, charging the migrants and their families approximately $10,000 to 12,000 USD for the perilous journey,” prosecutors say.
“These recent arrests are the culmination of over a year’s efforts of international coordination and investigation into this extensive human smuggling operation,” U.S. Attorney Ashley Hoff said in a statement. “This specific criminal organization has smuggled a large number of migrants from Guatemala, which included a young woman who died while being smuggled, and whose body was later callously dumped by the smugglers in Crane County, Texas.”
Guatemalan Civil National Police are seen patrolling the El Estor indigenous municipality in October 2021. (Johan Ordonez/AFP via Getty Images)
The Justice Department