Officer José Pablo Cortés-Salas, from the Professional Immigration Police Investigation Unit, received the award in the category of Excellence
Cooperation with Regional Partners by the U.S. International Law Enforcement Academies, ILEAs.
- U.S. International Law Enforcement Academies photo -
Published Tuesday, May 18, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
Officer José Pablo Cortés-Salas, from the Professional Immigration Police Investigation Unit, received the award in the category of Excellence Cooperation with Regional Partners by the U.S. International Law Enforcement Academies, ILEAs.
According to the General Directorate of Migration, Cortés received recognition as a former student of the ILEA branch in El Salvador together with colleagues from Panama, for the investigation of the case of “Mama Africa” in 2019.
For this case, two Panamanians were also awarded, Moises Quintero, an investigator and Rolando Fossatti, an analyst.
"This award recognizes the former students who exemplify ILEA's goal of creating regional networks and contacts for operations success," Migration said in its statement. "ILEA former students maintain communication to share information, coordinate international research and exchange good practices."
The ILEA San Salvador academy is part of a network of international academies that were created by the United States government to fight crimes such as international drug trafficking, criminality, terrorism, human trafficking among others.
"This operation was of great importance for both countries and thanks to the investigation techniques and teamwork carried out, we were able to show how these networks work and their scope," Officer Cortés-Salas said.
Mamá Africa was about a woman surnamed López arrested in July 2019. She was the leader of an organization dedicated to the smuggling of migrants. She was one of the 36 people arrested in an operation carried out and led by the Professional Migration Police and the Costa Rican Prosecutor's Office, jointly and simultaneously with the Panamanian police authorities.
The investigation into the criminal organization was carried out by the Immigration Police Investigation Unit in collaboration with the Panamanian police achieving the arrest of that specific criminal gang.
The work of the five ILEAs sponsored, funded, and administered by INL is an important part of the interagency U.S. effort to combat international crime. The academies abroad are located in Budapest, Hungary, serving Central/Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Bangkok; Thailand, serving Southeast Asia and China; Gaborone, Botswana, serving the countries south of the Sahel and parts of West Africa; El Salvador, serving Latin America and the Caribbean; and Roswell, New Mexico, serving all countries worldwide that send officers to ILEAs.
More than 60,000 individuals from 85 countries have graduated from ILEAs over the past 20 years, the academy said in its statement.
Concerning human trafficking cases in Costa Rica, judicial agents call on the population to report any suspicion of this crime to the confidential line 800-8000-645, where bilinguals agents can answer calls in English or Spanish.
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