Venezuela Captures Top Colombian Drug Trafficker

The
Bolivarian National Guard of Venezuela has captured Wilmer Guerrero, one of the
20 Colombian drug cartel bosses most sought after by Colombian police. It has
also closed down six drug laboratories.
By Tamara Pearson – Venezuelanalysis.com

elaissami_VTV.jpg

Justice Minister El Aissami speaking about the capture on national television (VTV)
Justice Minister El Aissami speaking about the capture on national television (VTV)
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Mérida,
May 22nd 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) -- The Bolivarian National Guard of
Venezuela has captured Wilmer Guerrero, one of the 20 Colombian drug cartel
bosses most sought after by Colombian police. It has also closed down six drug
laboratories.

The
National Guard caught Guerrero in Tucacas, Falcon state, Tarek El Aissami, the minister
for justice and internal affairs, announced in a press conference on Thursday. The
government will deport Guerrero to Colombia to be tried there.

This
capture brings the total number of drug trafficking leaders captured this year
to six, said El Aissami. The Venezuelan daily newspaper El Universal reported
that these include Felix Cantillo, a Colombian who was deported back to
Colombia last month; Ismael Lameda, a Venezuelan captured in March, and Mohsen
Mahmoud, a Lebanese man who was wanted by police in Puerto Rico and Spain.

"Yet
again we have shown with deeds the operative level and effectiveness of our
Bolivarian National Armed Forces... and of our investigative bodies and
intelligence organisations such as the National Anti-Drugs Office (ONA).

Venezuela stopped
collaborating with the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in 2005, on allegations
that it was spying. At the end of last year a DEA functionary wanted to meet
with the Venezuelan Foreign Relations Ministry but the ministry responded that
the DEA would be better off using its time fighting drug trafficking and
consumption in its own country.

Also,
the U.S. accuses Venezuela of not cooperating with its "War on Drugs", and
has placed Venezuela on its list of countries through which illegal drugs are
transported.

El
Aissami also informed the press that the Direction of Intelligence and
Prevention Services (DISIP) had confiscated 130 kilograms of heroine in Nueva
Esparta state and arrested one citizen. The Scientific and Crime Investigations
Body (CICPC) also confiscated 550 kilograms of marihuana in Carabobo state, he
said.

On
Friday, the Bolivarian News Agency (ABN) reported that the National Guard and
ONA found six cocaine processing laboratories on the Colombian-Venezuelan
border, Zulia state, along with 2.8 tons of cocaine paste and 100 kilograms of
high grade cocaine. Three people without documents were detained.

The
ONA reports that since the start of this year it has confiscated 18.5 tonnes of
various drugs and 2,330 Venezuelans and 123 foreigners have been arrested for
drug trafficking.

Venezuela is used as a drug
transporting country for drugs produced in Colombia, with which it shares a
land border of 2,219 kilometres.