Home Travel & Adventure Bolivia Launches Probe into Alleged Human Trafficking Involving 69 Citizens in Spain

Bolivia Launches Probe into Alleged Human Trafficking Involving 69 Citizens in Spain


The Bolivian government is looking to investigate the situation of 69 Bolivian nationals who have been stranded in Spain and were detained due to invalid visas.

Luis Arce government has announced it is considering investigating the incident as a case of human trafficking, as authorities are closely monitoring the process, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Recently, a total of 69 Bolivian nationals were travelling with a ship from MSC Cruise Company, which had a total of 1,500 passengers.

Passengers appeared to have proper documentation upon boarding in Brazil. We have been informed by the authorities that the visas are not valid for entry into the Schengen area. As a result, passengers have not been able to disembark in Barcelona, which was their final destination. 

MSC Cruises

SchengenVisaInfo reported that the Bolivian passengers to Spain had invalid Schengen visas – documentation necessary for nationals from third countries that do not have a visa liberalisation agreement with the Schengen Area for free movement. The Spanish authorities raised suspicions that this could be a fake visa scam.

Foreign Ministry Dedicated to Support Bolivians Stranded in Spain

The Bolivian Foreign Ministry is working to support Bolivian citizens stuck in the northeastern port of Barcelona.

According to local Bolivian media reports, the Foreign Ministry will send a communication to the authorities of the Plurinational Council, to investigate whether there is a trafficking network related to this case.

Juan, who claims he is the father of one of the passengers detained said that his son had turned to a travel agency to have his documents arranged for the cruise ship trip that was headed to France and then Croatia.

We don’t know if they will be deported. Right now, we are in a wait-and-see moment in which we don’t know if there will be a solution.


MSC Cruise Company agreed with the Spanish government to offer another ship for the Bolivian nationals to accommodate them until the matter is resolved.

Bolivian Government Wants to Make Sure Bolivians’ Human Rights Are Being Respected

Vice Minister Perez said that it is important to ensure the wellbeing of Bolivians and they do not lack anything, such as legal representation during this process. He emphasized that their human rights must be respected.

An investigation will be initiated as soon as it is revealed how Bolivians obtained the documentation they presented. The case remains under investigation to find the details and determine if other actors are involved.

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