U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Peruvian National Police (PNP) Human Trafficking Investigations Division conducted a human trafficking operation that led to the identification of four sex tracking victims and the arrest of the three individuals in the town of La Pampa, Madre de Dios, Peru.
“Human trafficking is a heinous crime that victimizes millions of innocent people around the world,” said HSI Lima Assistant Attaché Paul Salamon. “This successful operation shows the importance of international collaboration when it comes to disrupting criminal organizations. Our hope is that more victims come forward so that we can help remove them from harm’s way and put the perpetrators behind bars.”
On Feb. 5, the HSI office in Lima was informed by the PNP of a mother that filed a police report about an alleged trafficking event involving her daughter in the city of La Pampa, Madre de Dios, Peru. HSI responded and assisted PNP in interviewing the mother. The following day, the victim escaped and traveled to the city of Puerto Maldonado, where the she was later interviewed by HSI, PNP, and a Peruvian prosecutor. The victim provided additional information about other potential victims. Later that day, a second victim arrived at the prosecutor’s office after she learned that PNP and HSI were present and assisting.
On Feb. 7, PNP and the Peruvian Prosecutor’s Office, with participation from HSI, launched an operation leading to the rescue of two additional victims, as well as the arrest of Monica Baca Munoz, Guicela Baca Munoz and a third individual. Two of the individuals were arrested for Trafficking in Persons/Sexual Exploitation under Peruvian law.
The victims were escorted by HSI personnel and safely returned to their families in Lima, Peru.
The was a joint operation between HSI and the Peruvian National Police (PNP), with assistance from the NGO, Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.).
HSI is a directorate of ICE and the principal investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), responsible for investigating transnational crime and threats, specifically those criminal organizations that exploit the global infrastructure through which international trade, travel, and finance move. HSI’s workforce of over 10,400 employees consists of more than 7,100 special agents assigned to 220 cities throughout the United States, and 80 overseas locations in 53 countries. HSI’s international presence represents DHS’s largest investigative law enforcement presence abroad and one of the largest international footprints in U.S. law enforcement.
ICE is a critical component of the DHS Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT), a cross-Department coordination center for countering sex trafficking and forced labor, including the importation of goods produced with forced labor. Its mission is to advance counter-human trafficking law enforcement operations, protect victims, and enhance prevention efforts by aligning DHS’s capabilities and expertise. Visit here to learn more about Department-wide efforts to combat human trafficking.