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13 of Latin America’s most wanted fugitives arrested in Interpol operation

March 12, 2021

Thirteen of the most wanted fugitives in Latin America were arrested in an operation coordinated by Interpol that involved eight countries in the region, the international criminal police organization announced Friday.

The fugitives, wanted for serious crimes such as murder, kidnapping or sexual violence, were all subject to Interpol red notices.

The arrests took place between February 22 and March 5 and involved police officers from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama and Peru.

In a statement, the Paris-based institution highlighted the arrest of a fugitive wanted in Peru for sexual exploitation of minors and human trafficking who was detained by Argentine police.

It also cited the case of Inga Molina, who was on Ecuador’s most-wanted fugitives list since 2018, accused of rape.

At first it was thought that he had fled abroad, but investigators managed to locate and detain him in Quito thanks to open source analysis and wiretapping.

The head of an international drug trafficking network, wanted by Brazil after a series of seizures, was also arrested and detained by the Bolivian police in Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

“These results are only possible thanks to EL PAcCTO’s permanent network that has been created over time among national fugitive investigators,” said Stephen Kavanagh, Interpol’s executive director of police services, quoted in the statement.

“Every year, this network grows stronger and it becomes even more difficult for criminals to evade justice by fleeing from one Latin American country to another,” added Kavanagh.

EL PAcCTO is a cooperation program financed by the European Union that aims to strengthen capacities and facilitate international cooperation.

Its association with Interpol aims to create and develop a permanent mechanism for fugitive investigations throughout Latin America.

Launched for the first time in 2018, it has so far aided in the location and arrests of 79 fugitives.

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