Public Ministry Achieved Important Results in “Hacienda Rio” Transnational Operation

by Pamela Contreras

Guatemalan national police, in collaboration with the Transnational Crime and Metropolitan Regional Prosecutors’ office, with the support of the Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) agency, conducted the “Hacienda Río” transnational operation.

The Special Investigation Unit of the Subdirectorate General of the National Civil Police -PNC-, the Specialized Criminal Investigation Division -DEIC-, Human Trafficking subdivision, and the PNC Inspector General’s Office supported the operation.

The operation was carried out in different areas of the capital city and in the municipalities of Santa Catarina Pinula, San Pedro Ayampuc, Palencia, Chinautla, Mixco, Villa Nueva, and La Democracia, Aguacatán, Todos Santos Cuchumatán and the head of the department of Huehuetenango. Also, in San Carlos Sija and Olintepeque, Quetzaltenango.

To enforce arrest warrants against a group of people involved in migrants’ smuggling, a search, inspection, recording, and seizure of evidence took place. 

Just  over a year ago, the Public Ministry of Guatemala, in transnational coordination with the Attorney General’s Office of El Salvador, conducted an investigation to carry out an operation called “Río Hacienda,” which ended with significant results.

During the operation, two PNC agents were captured; they were part of this criminal structure that recruited and transported migrants of different nationalities bound for  the United States of America.

The arrest warrants against the PNC agents were issued due to the possible  crimes of conspiracy for the illicit trafficking of persons and breach of duties.

Authorities dismantled the criminal structure by arresting 21 members for illicit association and migrant smuggling.

In addition, the Public Ministry executed raids in different hotels to  rescue migrants of different nationalities. Among those rescued are adults and minors from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Venezuela, who were sent to the Guatemalan Institute of Migration for assistance.

Second Phase

In the second phase of the operation, authorities made raid procedures in five hotels located zone 1 of Guatemala City to rescue migrants, execute arrest warrants, and find evidence to t strengthen  the investigation, with the following results.

  •  Dismantling the criminal structure
  •  21 arrest warrants executed
  •  3 arrests made in flagrancy 
  •  55 raids executed
  •  Confiscated money in different foreign currencies
  •  Documents

The evidence located during the operation will help reinforce  the investigation.

Both the investigation and the operation were carried out with the absolute support of the Department of Homeland Security -DHS- of the United States of America.

 A press conference was held with authorities from both countries to announce the results of the operations in both Guatemala and El Salvador, in which the importance of transnational coordination was underscored.

The District Attorney’s Office against Transnational Crimes is committed to the population in the fight against transnational organized crime, which urges  the Guatemalan people to report this type of crime through the tools that the Public Ministry makes available, through the web page, the mobile application Reportes MP  or at any of the prosecutors’ offices located throughout the country. 

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