The Comptroller General of the Republic of Chile officially announced Decree 265, which authorizes the use of armed forces at the border to cooperate in combating the illegal trafficking of migrants. It is a modification of a decree that allows the Chilean armed forces to act in cases of migration through unauthorized steps, which helps fight drug trafficking and cross-border organized crime, the T13 media reported. The Comptroller’s resolution comes at a time when immigrant entry through unauthorized crossings has increased, particularly in the city of Colchane in northern Chile.
In this context, the Minister of the Interior and Public Security, Rodrigo Delgado said: we need to put some context, the irregular entry into the Colchane area is related to a crisis that goes beyond what we could explain from Chile. It is an international, health and social crisis. A large percentage are Venezuelan nationals, and it has to do with migratory flows that began years ago. These currents are not new to Chile. What happens is that they have mutated under time.
With this in mind, the Foreign Minister stated: In the first half of 2019, before the consultation visa was administratively issued, there was a migration balance of 128,000 people who remained in Chile. That changed to minus 2000 in the second half of 2019 and in 2020 we had about 13,000 irregular admissions and regular income fell with the pandemic.
In addition, he said: We have to take care of what is happening in Colchane because it is not just a line of people crossing a line but also the impact that this has on the people of Colchane and his community () Bei At a meeting (the coordination he held with the Defense Minister (s), Alfonso Vargas, the Tarapac regional authorities and representatives of the armed forces and order) we saw the practical decline of what we will announce in a few days. Carabineros have doubled their staff in Colchane in the last two days, so have the army, in the last few hours we have had unmanned flights that were not previously by Decree 265. Therefore, the situation is complex, we understand, no one has lowered the profile, but we are dealing with it from the publication of the decree.
Senior government sources confirmed to the ex-ante media that Minister Delgado’s scheduled visit to the Colchane area this Tuesday or Wednesday should send a strong signal of his determination to fight illegal immigration.
For this reason, the interior minister has been working in coordination with the defense over the past few days on a plan to expel illegal immigrants with previous convictions from the country in those days. For this purpose, at least one level of the subject is occupied, while the PDI accelerates the procedures for performing the operation. In addition, the Directorate for Foreigners and Migration, which is dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, manages the tender for 15 commercial aircraft with the same destination.
Delgado travels to the region with Defense Minister Alfonso Vargas. In addition to deportation, the interior and defense ministers will announce a deployment of the armed forces in the region and the scope of Decree 265.
While this extends his powers, military sources consider the decree inadequate as it does not allow them to directly control the influx of illegal immigrants. “The idea is to show that there will be an important handshake,” says a senior La Moneda source. (Pamela Squella)
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