Cuzco, Madre de Dios and Arequipa lead human trafficking cases

Peru’s southern regions of Cusco, Madre de Dios and Arequipa have had the highest number of human trafficking cases so far this year, CNR news service reported, citing the Health ministry.

So far this year, the ministry has rescued 229 people who were victims of human trafficking, the report says.

Cusco had the most cases with 35, followed by Madre de Dios (30) and Arequipa (27). The southern city of Juliaca, in the Puno region, had 24 cases, while Moquegua had 16 and Tacna had nine. Seven cases were reported in Lima.

Many of the cases involve forced labor in Peru’s expanding informal miningindustry, which causes widespread environmental damage and costs the government millions in unpaid taxes, according to Cesar Torres, the coordinator of the ministry’s human rights unit.

“The victims of these mafias are obliged, in the majority, to extract and process metallic and non-metallic minerals,” Torres said. The use of children in the informal gold mining in the freezing highlands of Puno and along jungle rivers in Madre de Dios is well recorded.

In the first half of this year, there were 902 cases of missing people in Peru, with the police solving 592 of those cases. In 2010, there were a total of 1,635 cases, including 762 of youths.

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