El Salvadoran authorities have been working in close coordination with their counterparts in Guatemala to apprehend members of the criminal network known as “Gota a Gota,” primarily comprised of Colombian nationals. This mafia has been involved in extorting and defrauding thousands of citizens, with 110 foreign members already arrested on Salvadoran soil.
The criminal organization “Gota a Gota” has deep ties to drug trafficking and money laundering, prompting the Salvadoran Ministry of Justice and Security, along with the Attorney General’s Office (FGR), to join forces with Guatemalan authorities in tracking down the extortionists, scammers, and loan sharks associated with this Colombian criminal syndicate. The network has operated not only in El Salvador but also in other countries across the region.
During a recent interview on “Frente a Frente,” Ricardo Cucalón, the Director General of Migration and Immigration, revealed that the institution’s records indicated the implicated foreigners entered El Salvador as tourists via airports. Subsequently, some of them legally moved on to Guatemala.
“We have discovered that there are individuals involved who are in Guatemala with Guatemalan residency. From the beginning, we established contact with Guatemalan authorities to monitor these individuals because they would come to El Salvador, assemble their teams of scammers and extortionists, spend some time here, and then return to Guatemala and re-enter,” explained the official.
Apart from Colombians, the criminal organization comprises individuals from Argentina, Guatemala, and other nationalities, forming an international network of criminals. Cucalón urged Salvadoran citizens who consider themselves victims of this mafia to report incidents, with the assurance of anonymity.
“As Migration, we have set up the hotline 2213-7777 for Salvadorans who feel extorted or defrauded by any individual of any nationality. They can file a complaint, and we will take appropriate action. The report will be anonymous, and we will work together with the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office,” he added.
Cucalón made it clear that this is not an indiscriminate persecution of Colombian citizens, as there are many law-abiding Colombians living in El Salvador, including entrepreneurs who contribute significantly to job creation and economic development.
Police and prosecution investigations have revealed that this criminal structure has engaged in money laundering and fraud, successfully sending $20 million back to Colombia from El Salvador through their illicit activities.
According to records from the Prosecutor’s Office, a staggering 3,000 complaints have been received since 2021, reporting citizens victimized by the “Gota a Gota” criminal network.
The joint efforts of El Salvador and Guatemala mark a significant step forward in combating transnational organized crime and providing justice to the victims affected by the malicious actions of this criminal syndicate. By continuing to work collaboratively, these nations are sending a strong message that criminal activities will not be tolerated within their borders and across the region.