Flights returning Colombian migrants from US border to restart from next week

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Flights returning Colombians found by immigration officers at the U.S. border with Mexico to their home country will resume beginning next week, Colombia's migration agency said on Friday.

The agency said this week it had temporarily suspended the program, citing cruel and degrading treatment and last-minute flight cancellations.

The number of Colombians trying to migrate north to the U.S. has soared in recent years, with more than 125,000 apprehended at the United States' southern border in 2022, according U.S Customs and Borders Protection (CBP), up from around 6,200 in 2021.

"The agreements that we have reached with the North American authorities are the following: the flights for returning people will restart from next week and there are two working groups, with a human rights perspective, which will create two protocols to guarantee the integrity of returning travelers," migration agency director Fernando Garcia said in a video statement.

(Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Bill Berkrot)