The director of Migration Colombia, Juan Francisco Espinosa Palacios, announced the opening of an investigation after EL HERALDO published a report indicating alleged irregularities within the regional office in Barranquilla.
According to the official, who addressed the issue through a virtual press conference, the information “took him by surprise and filled us with sadness.”
“We have already started the respective investigative processes to determine what happened, but we need citizens to report. We need to receive all the information about potential warnings or irregular situations to take corrective action on the case, “Espinosa said.
Official indicated that to do the procedures in Migration Colombia “does not require intermediaries”, since the mission of the entity “is to help and support.”
“At no time can we collect resources and if any user is being told that they have to pay or that they have to act through an intermediary, report it anonymously. We need to clarify this type of situation that does not do the entity good, “said the Director General of Migration Colombia.
Espinosa affirmed that “the appropriate corrective measures will be taken.” “We have a policy of zero tolerance for acts of corruption. I ask the citizens to report and be sure that the measures will come, “he said.
A source pointed out to this outlet that presumably officials from the Colombia Regional Migration Office “set up the company (parallel to the entity) to carry out advisory functions” and offer them to users who came to the regional office.
“When foreigners arrive at the office they are threatened with deportation, and as a guarantee for those who need to solve their situation, they induce users to use the services of ‘Migration & Service’ so that they can be successful in the process before Immigration or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I have even made financial demands not to deport them, “the source told this newspaper.
The Barranquilla Chamber of Commerce certificate indicates that ‘Migration & Service SAS’ is a company that was officially established on November 27, 2019, with the intention of: “Processing Colombian visas, consular procedures, apostille of documents, legalizations, official translations, validation of professional qualifications, application for naturalization, processing of American visas ”, among other activities.
Jenny Durán Miranda, who could be established, would be the wife of Manuel Valera Rayo, who currently works in the Immigration office. She also appears in the minutes as a partner of the Custodia Ladino company, which would be the mother of Ingrid De la Pava Ladino, who serves as the verification coordinator at the regional office of
This medium learned stories of foreigners, especially Venezuelan migrants, who needed to process extensions of stay and safe-conducts and went to the Immigration office in Barranquilla and from there, officials sent them to do the procedures with the aforementioned company. On some occasions he collected over $ 2 million “for diligence with the entity.”
“That of the parallel office is true. I think if they are going to investigate they must do it from the root, as it should be, ”said one of those affected.
On the other hand, the director of Migration announced the creation of a regional “special” office in Atlántico-Magdalena, which is in charge of providing adequate guidance and fulfilling the functions focused on serving users.
“In this region of the country, migration issues are intensive. We believe that a strengthening process had to be carried out, we have spoken with the local and departmental authorities that have celebrated this initiative, ”said the official.