SANTIAGO – A group of 51 Colombians who were either serving time in Chilean prisons or had a previous criminal record in either country were deported from Chile on Thursday, the government said.
According to Chile’s immigration laws, none of people who were deported will be able to return to the country in 10 years.
“A group of 51 people are being deported from our country, following our laws, for their criminal records or for having been sentenced, and will be repatriated to their country of origin, in this case Colombia,” Interior Minister Andres Chadwick told reporters at the Santiago International Airport.
“For the first time, in order to carry out a more ordered deportation that limits public spending, we will carry out the repatriation with a Chilean air force plane, which will fly directly to Colombia and return tomorrow,” he said.
According to Chadwick, 32 of the 51 Colombians were serving sentences, for which “the Court of Justice ordered their deportation.”
The other 19 were deported after an administrative order was issued by the government, citing their criminal records and their unauthorized presence in Chile, the minister said.
All 19 have criminal records in their country of origin or in Chile for offenses including drug trafficking, robbery, extortion, and credit-card fraud, he said.
“We will continue with this process,” Chadwick added.
According to police figures, since the start of 2018 a total of 1,102 foreigners, including the 51 Colombians, have been deported from Chile, which represents a 43 percent rise compared to the same period in 2017.