Colombia may be the newest route for migrants traveling illegally to the United States from third countries, according to a new documentary by the Discovery Channel and Caracol Television. The country serves as a transit point for many who undertake this perilous journey, generating lucrative profits for the bacrim (human trafficking and organized crime rings) and creating a nightmare for erstwhile authorities. Discovery en Español exposes the various angles of this situation in Colombia: La Nueva Frontera, an original production premiering Sunday, June 7 at 10pm Eastern, during the Discovery a Fondo block.
In recent years, thousands of people have found a new route to the United States, starting in Ecuador and using Colombia as a jumping-off point for Central America. From there, migrants travel through Mexico and cross illegally over the U.S. border. People from all over the world use this route, but the majority of them appear to be from Cuba, Bangladesh and Nepal. In 2014 alone, the Colombian authorities estimate, more than 1,700 undocumented migrants were detained along this route on their way to the United States. According to the production, the situation is becoming more serious every day thanks to more flexible immigration laws passed in some countries in the region, among them Ecuador.
For an inside look at the different facets of this complex reality, Discovery en Español’s production team profiled a number of migrants. They include Tony, a young man from Cuba who set out on a dangerous odyssey from Quito, Ecuador to the Gulf of Urabá, near Colombia’s border with Panama, guided by a coyote known as “Gregorio.” The documentary also exposes the workings of international human trafficking networks and counter-operations by immigration patrols and the Colombian Navy.
Colombia: La Nueva Frontera is a coproduction by Discovery en Español and Caracol Televisión under the supervision of Irune Ariztoy, Executive Producer; and Michela Giorelli, Discovery’s Vice President of Production and Development; with the assistance of Pacha Films, under the direction of Luis del Valle.