Monday, June 5

The US claims ‘Pollo’ Carvajal on four charges of drug trafficking and weapons




Former Chavez chief of spies Hugo Carvajal Barrios, 61, waits in the Estremera prison for the National Court gives the go-ahead for his extradition To united states. A favorable response from Washington to the extradition order and an appeal filed before the Contentious Chamber are the two pending procedures that separate him – for now – from a maximum security prison in New York.

His defense, headed by the lawyer María Dolores González de Argüelles, has done everything possible to prevent his surrender to the US authorities, but the court itself has already considered that there is a “delaying strategy” on the part of Carvajal to extend his stay in Spain. .

Cocaine trafficking

The U.S. Government has been building a file against Hugo Carvajal -which keeps the deepest secrets of the two Venezuelan presidential families Chávez and Maduro- for their links with drug trafficking and criminal organizations while “he served at the highest levels of the Government of Venezuela”, from 1999 to 2019, when he broke head-on with the regime of Nicolás Maduro.

For years, the DEA (anti-narcotics agency) has been in charge of compiling numerous concrete acts of its participation in criminal organizations and the evidence of the crimes charged that it has sent to Spain to request its delivery to the US ABC had access to the two accusations that fall on the former general Venezuelan, the first of the Court of the Southern District of New York, dated March 8, 2011, which accuses him of the transfer of 5,600 kilos of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico, bound for the United States, and the second of a court of the South Florida.

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2011 Southern District of New York indictment against Hugo Carvajal
2011 Southern District of New York indictment against Hugo Carvajal – ABC

In 2019, the New York indictment was modified and expanded with four indictments that are described below: the first, a narco-terrorist criminal organization, when it found that Carvajal was a member of a Venezuelan drug trafficking organization formed by high-ranking officials and known as ‘El Cartel de Los Soles’, which worked with leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to “coordinate drug trafficking” for at least 15 years; the second, an introductory criminal organization of cocaine for “the manufacture, distribution and possession of a prohibited substance.”

The third accusation is for the possession of machine guns and destructive devices, which implies the use and possession of firearms “capable of automatically firing more than one shot, without the need to reload them manually” and, finally, criminal organization in order to of possessing machine guns and destructive devices.

2013 Southern District of Florida indictment against Hugo Carvajal
2013 Southern District of Florida indictment against Hugo Carvajal – ABC

In addition tA case is pending in the Southern District of Florida of May 16, 2013 for belonging to a criminal organization that distributes cocaine with the purpose of illegally introducing it into the United States from at least 2004 to 2010. The Prosecutor’s Office accuses him of conspiring with the Norte del Valle Cartel for illegal cocaine trafficking. A criminal organization that they claim is involved in drug trafficking, the laundering of funds from drug trafficking, bribery of the police and kidnappings, torture and murders of police officers and / or drug traffickers.

Amended indictment of the Southern District of New York against Hugo Carvajal, of 2019
Amended indictment of the Southern District of New York against Hugo Carvajal, of 2019 – ABC

Homologation of crimes

The National Court approved the crimes for which the US claims Hugo Carvajal and its equivalence in Spain corresponds to the crimes of narco-terrorism conspiracy, in the activity carried out as part of an organization dedicated to drug trafficking and conspiracy to import cocaine. And it says that charges 3 and 4 related to weapons “are formulated in relation to the commission of drug trafficking crimes (charges 1 and 2). That is, Spain agreed to his extradition so that he could be prosecuted for the four facts included in the replacement indictment of the South Court of New York.

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The former head of Chávez and Maduro’s Military Counterintelligence has been in the hands of the Spanish authorities since September 9, when he was detained by the National Police, during a joint operation with the DEA, in a Madrid apartment where, according to the body of security, he lived “totally cloistered, without going outside or leaning out the window, and always protected by trusted people.”

The Plenary of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court agreed last Friday to request the US guarantees regarding the treatment that would be given to the ‘Chicken’ if it were delivered, a procedure that keeps his extradition paralyzed. In this sense, the judge gave 45 days for the North American authorities to respond to this request. This formalism is a kind of guarantee that the rights of the ‘Chicken’ will be respected in the United States.

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