News/Canada: Honduras probes smuggling of youths into Canada

New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

Subject: News/Canada: Honduras probes smuggling of youths into Canada
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Thu Feb 17 2000 - 11:27:48 EST


Honduras probes smuggling of youths into Canada
Many refugee claimants sell drugs in Vancouver
Mark Stevenson and Paul Waldie
National Post, February 10, 2000

Honduras has launched an investigation into the growing number of youths
who are being smuggled from the country into Canada by organized criminals
to sell drugs.

Eduardo Villanueva, one of the country's chief public prosecutors, said his
office is working with local police and anti-narcotic officials to probe
the trafficking of youths to the Vancouver area, where Honduran gangs are
known to sell drugs and avoid deportation while they wait for refugee
hearings.

The investigation may eventually bring senior officials from the Latin
American country to Canada.

"We have launched a serious investigation into this problem with all the
resources of the public ministry and the national police," Mr. Villanueva
said yesterday in a telephone interview.

"We believe that [international] organized criminals are involved in taking
children from Honduras ... The situation is very grave."

For the past two years, gangs of drug dealers -- many of them refugee
claimants from Honduras who sell narcotics to pay for their entry to Canada
-- have plagued neighbourhoods along Vancouver's Skytrain.

A large number of Honduran refugees convicted of drug trafficking has
prompted critics to demand that refugee claimants from the country be
detained until their hearings are complete.

But unlike Chinese refugees, who were detained after they arrived at
Canadian shores last summer, immigration officials say they often cannot
hold the Hondurans, most of whom entered legally.

"We have people who come here, claim refugee status, get involved in drug
dealing and then get charged," said Lois Reimer, a spokeswoman for the
federal Immigration Department in Vancouver.

"But even at that point, we don't have anything solid until we get a
conviction. So for that reason, a lot of them are not detained. But once we
get convictions, then we can detain and remove them."

Two-thirds of drug dealers arrested in 1999 for selling cocaine in the east
side of Vancouver were from Honduras.

And more than 145 Hondurans were deported from the Vancouver area in the
same year, three times the 42 refugee claimants removed the year before,
most of them for drug trafficking, immigration officials say.

most of them for drug trafficking, immigration officials say.

Melanie Orhant

morhant@igc.org
__________________

Stop-traffic is facilitated, international electronic list
funded by the Women's Reproductive Health Initiative
of the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH)
dealing with human rights abuses associated with trafficking
in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
order bride arrangements.
_________________

Stop-Traffic archive:

http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/stop-traffic/1999/
_________________

To subscribe, please send an email to

listproc@friends-partners.org

Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message, write:

subscribe STOP-TRAFFIC <Your Name>

Inserting your real name (without brackets <>) after STOP-TRAFFIC.
___________________

To unsubscribe, send email to

listproc@friends-partners.org

Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message write:

unsubscribe STOP-TRAFFIC
_________________________

To send a message to STOP-TRAFFIC, email:

stop-traffic@friends-partners.org
_________________________

To receive stop-traffic in digest form, please send an email to

listproc@friends-partners.org

Leave the subject blank. In the body of your message, write:

set STOP-TRAFFIC mail digest

ListProcessor receives your request, changes the mail status to digest and
returns a message to you about the change.


New Message Reply Date view Thread view Subject view Author view Other groups

This archive was generated by hypermail 2a22 : Thu Feb 17 2000 - 11:28:27 EST