Mérida, December 16th 2011 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – Yesterday Venezuelan authorities deported two Colombians accused of drug trafficking and wanted by Interpol with red alerts, the minister for justice and internal affairs, Tareck El Aissami, told press. He described the event as “one of the most important captures we have made in Venezuela”.
One of the men, Maximiliano Bonilla Orozco or “Valenciano”, arrested on 27 November in Aragua state, was wanted by the United States for drug smuggling.
According to Radio Mundial, from 1990 until February 2008, Bonilla Orozco was one of the main traffickers of drugs to the U.S. Based in Medellin, Colombia; he sent large quantities of cocaine via boats to Mexico, to then be distributed in the US. He has also been accused of being responsible for almost 10,000 murders in Colombia.
According to Associated Press the U.S had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.
Aissami said Venezuelan authorities had been working on his capture since March. Colombian president Jose Manuel Santos thanked the Venezuelan government for the “high value” capture the next day. Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez also said at the time that the capture was an example of improved drugs cooperation between the two countries.
The second man, Gildardo Garcia, arrested on 23 October this year in Merida state, was wanted for Colombia drug smuggling and first degree murder.
El Aissami said that so far this year the Venezuelan government has arrested 21 people wanted internationally. He pointed out that the number is significant since U.S government reports constantly accuse Venezuela of “not contributing to the world fight against drugs”.
El Aissami has said a number of times that the national government has arrested and deported drug traffickers more frequently since Venezuela end relations with the U.S’s Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) because the it devoted most of its time to spying rather than to fighting drug trafficking.
Even though the DEA had its offices in Venezuela’s National Anti-Drugs (ONA) head office, the minister added that Venezuelan officials had not had access to those areas. In fact, not even ONA authorities were able to inspect those offices.