Panama deports 2nd group of Colombians as “security risks”

Panama City, May 18 (EFE).- Panamanian authorities on Thursday reported deporting 12 Colombians to their homeland for having illegally entered Panama without the proper immigration documents, along with others who have completed jail terms and pose “a security risk.”

“Today, about 12 citizens were sent back, four of whom were (deported) for having committed serious crimes, and after having completed the terms of their sentencing they were expelled,” said the head of the legal advisory department within Panama’s National Immigration Service, Juan Garcia, in a video released by the Public Security Ministry.

Garcia added that the other Colombians deported had “violated administrative immigration provisions” because “they entered the (country) illegally, were undocumented (and/or) had expired visas.”

The Colombians who had completed their sentences “under no circumstances will be able to reenter the country,” while those who committed immigration infractions “obligated the National Immigration Service to hold them at temporary detention centers until this process was carried out,” Garcia said.

The Public Security Ministry said in a tweet, citing Garcia, that “12 people of Colombian nationality (were deported) to their country of origin, because they constituted a security risk.”

This is the second group of Colombians Panama has deported. On May 10, the Central American country expelled 10 citizens of the neighboring country, thus making a total of 22 Colombians deported so far this year, an official told EFE.

On Thursday morning, the National Aerovanal Service (Senan) transported the 12 Colombians on one of its aircraft, departing from the Panama Pacific International Airport, on the outskirts of Panama City.

“The pilots of the … National Aerovanal Service are supporting the National Immigration Service in the transfer of 12 Colombian citizens, who are being returned to their country. We are providing this support with our air capabilities, our airplanes,” Senan pilot Oriel Reyes said.

EFE –/bp

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