BOGOTA – Colombian navy personnel detained Saturday in Caribbean waters 34 citizens of Eritrea who were sailing towards Central America after entering the country illegally, regional military officials said.
The foreigners were in an unlicensed vessel with two Colombian crew members, who were also taken into custody, Colombia’s navy commander for the Caribbean, Adm. Roberto Garcia, said.
The officer told the press in Cartagena that these immigrants, a woman and 33 men, were headed for the Central American coast as a gateway to the United States.
Each of them paid $1,500 to the migrant traffickers who were transporting them, the authorities found.
Adm. Garcia said the boat had sailed Friday from Baru Island near Cartagena and was intercepted at 15 nautical miles northeast of Cape Tiburon in the Gulf of Uraba.
Those in detention were handed over to migration authorities in the port of Turbo.