Colombia’s migration chief faces contempt charges and at least two regional directors could go to jail after a failed cover-up of fraud with US funds to fight human trafficking.
According to the Itagui City Court, Migration Director Juan Espinosa could be in contempt of court after two of his regional directors brought false criminal charges against a US citizen who was wiretapped by the US federal agency ICE based on evidence fabricated by the Medellin Migration Office. .
Additional evidence indicates that two of the regional Migration Directors committed fraud to cover up alleged corruption in the joint program with ICE.
Retired US Army Officer John Lanier has been engaged in a legal battle with Migration for nearly a year after the Medellin resident was falsely accused of being part of a “criminal network” dedicated to the trafficking in human beings.
Colombia Reports has been following court proceedings for nearly a year as ICE tapped the retired military official based on the allegations fabricated by Migration.
This website attempted to meet with the Director of Migration in Medellin, Wilson PatiÃ±o, to provide him with evidence of corruption in December 2020.
I would like to meet with you in confidence in order to share evidence of a suspected case of UAEMC fraud that I am investigating that may be compromising those responsible for the migration headquarters in Medellin, and therefore may warrant a internal investigation.
Reports on Colombia
We can meet at the Regional Direction office whenever you prefer, in order to assist in the competence in the exercise of missionary functions for the necessary legal actions, if justified.
Migration Medellin director Wilson PatiÃ±o
The meeting never took place as the regional director did not show up at his office at 9:00 a.m. on December 15 as agreed.
Lanier told courts in Itagui and Medellin that he was framed by two officials while drinking beer at Parque Lleras in October 2019.
As well as being a tourist hotspot, Parque Lleras is popular with Medellin’s sex workers trying to pick up ‘gringos’.
According to the American, he and at least two other people were approached by a police officer and a civil servant after they were approached by a woman who offered him company.
Despite declining the offer, officials took a photo of Lanier’s ID card, which ended up in an intelligence report Migration claimed to have received from Interpol.
The complainant has an âactive consignmentâ due to an intelligence report from the National Police of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Interpol – office of October 27, 2020 with internal file n Â° 20197025593862 of November 18, 2019.
Special Administrative Unit for Migration
The report provided justification for ICE to intercept the American’s phone and internet during a visit to the United States.
Migration claimed in early 2020 that Lanier was a member of a âcriminal networkâ dedicated to human trafficking.
The intelligence report shows that the citizen was part of a criminal network which committed offenses of trafficking in human beings, incitement to prostitution, sex tourism, behavior contrary to the migration regulations in force and threatening national security, public order, social tranquility and public security. in Colombian territory.
Special Administrative Unit for Migration
Captain Yurany Sierra of Interpol Colombia said in October 2020 that “this office does not have the database to establish whether there are any administrative requirements” and therefore could not have released the intelligence report.
Lanier already knew this in March of the same year when an Interpol officer told him that Migration “was just reaching its quota that night,” according to the US citizen.
Captain Camilo Andres Lopera of the Poblado District Police said in January that his office also failed to produce the report, which did not contain the “numbers corresponding to the GECOP police database” “with which the orders enter and leave police entities “.
Lopera added that he was “taking steps to prevent situations or behavior” that would be illegal such as the report ICE used to bug a US citizen.
Lanier was not cleared into Colombia in September 2020 after landing in Cartagena on the first flight after a five-month air traffic shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Ivan Duque is said to have looked over the shoulders of immigration officials browsing the arrivals list before welcoming inbound passengers to promote his policy of economic reactivation.
The American was placed on the same plane that brought the resident from Medellin to Florida.
Lanier sued and the court ruled in October that Migration violated the Medellin resident’s constitutional right to due process by expelling him from the country without proper legal justification.
On November 3 last year, the higher court in Medellin ordered Migration to start administrative proceedings that would justify an entry ban and a wiretap.
The court order put Migration in a difficult position, as evidence indicated that Migration’s intelligence report was fabricated, ICE had illegally bugged a US citizen, and Lanier was the victim of fraud.
Within a week, Lanier received a phone call from a so-called “ambulance pursuer” to offer legal assistance, claiming that ICE had opened a criminal investigation against the Medellin resident.
After Interpol and the Medellin Police Department hinted that the migration intelligence report was a fraud, the US defense attorney asked the Caribbean Migration Bureau to press charges and turn over evidence on Lanier’s alleged criminal activity on March 8.
Regional migration chief Maria del Pilar Corredor apparently panicked and produced a document claiming she ordered her Barranquilla coordinator Juan Gabriel Hernandez to open an investigation on January 18 and filed a complaint on March 11 .
Colombia Reports could not corroborate this claim with Hernandez, who was apparently fired.
Unfortunately for Corredor, Hernandez’s alleged investigation was based on the intelligence report that had been dismissed by the Medellin Police Department and Interpol.
Additionally, the timestamp on Corredor’s document indicated that the charges were not laid on March 11, but on March 15. More importantly, they did not contain any corroborating evidence.
On March 17, Lanier’s lawyer announced contempt charges, and on April 13, the court ordered Migration to produce evidence within 72 hours.
In a final attempt, the director of Migration Medellin provided the court with an undated order to deport Lanier based on Interpol’s nonexistent report.
Oddly, the timestamp on that document indicated that the eviction was created on December 15 of last year, the day PatiÃ±o agreed to meet with Colombia Reports to receive evidence of fraud from his subordinates.
Within 48 hours, the director of Migration Caribbean dropped the charges against Lanier, falsely claiming that she only received the request for the submission of evidence on March 18.
More interestingly, Corredor suddenly claimed that the intelligence report used to illegally bug the US citizen and cited by Migration Director Medellin did not exist.
There is no intelligence report in our own databases or in information, records, processes, uses or acts as a receiver of other domestic or foreign security or intelligence entities or agencies that we are managing to determine that Mr. John Summerfield Lanier may be considered a risk to national or citizen security and, therefore, that at this time he has not violated immigration rules.
Caribbean Migration director Maria del Pilar Corredo
The American’s defense attorney was not going to let the allegedly corrupt officials get away with it so easily and announced criminal charges.
Be warned that in the development of the administrative process, the officials who intervened, such as the Caribbean Regional Director Dr. Maria del Pilar Corredor, the migration agent Dayana Urbina Vargas and Mr. Juan Gabriel Hernandez in his role of coordinator of the management group for migration control, have incurred suspected criminal and disciplinary behavior. Therefore, my lawyer in Colombia will take the appropriate legal actions through a criminal complaint to the Attorney General’s office and a disciplinary complaint to the Inspector General’s office.
Defense lawyer Juan Pablo Vasquez
On May 11, the Itagui court also had enough and ordered an investigation to establish whether the national director was in contempt of court.
The court order against the national director sparked an immediate reaction from Migration Colombia’s senior lawyer, who issued a gag order against Lanier, citing “national security” on May 12.
A week after his case was deemed a national security concern, Lanier was attacked online, the US citizen told Colombia Reports.
So Facebook closed my account, my Google account was attacked by a Linux machine and a YouTube channel was created in my name.
Espinosa’s press secretary seemed unaware that the fraudulent practices of regional directors had become a legal responsibility for Colombia’s top migration official and declined to comment on the scandal.
The U.S. Embassy has refused to comment since December despite all evidence that ICE was illegally wiretapping innocent U.S. citizens to cover up the alleged corruption of Colombian migration agents.