He was one of the men closest to Hugo Chávez is using his last resources to avoid at all costs being handed over to the United States government, where various documents, testimonies and reports accuse him, not only of participating in drug trafficking activities, but also of having provided protection to many drug lords.
By Maibort Petit
Since the day of his capture, after spending more than a year and a half on the run, the major general and former head of Venezuelan intelligence, Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal Barrios, has sunk in a swamp. The case is becoming more and more complex, to the extent that the deadline for his extradition to the United States is extended, where he is accused of narco-terrorism crimes. In an emergency action, the National Court of Spain provisionally suspended its delivery to the North American authorities scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, alleging that the Ministry of the Interior had to resolve an asylum request that it requested in 2019 and that later it was learned that it had denied in September of that same year. Now he has granted a hearing for Monday, September 20, where he will expose the relations of the FARC and the terrorist group ETA.
In his sinking, Carvajal has threatened to drag others with him.
“If I fall, I will not fall alone. Several countries will fall ”,
he has declared.
He would have made the threat to people around him who made it known to the Libertad Digital portal, which reports what would have been the top of his warning:
“With the gasoline that is in Spain, if I am extradited I will throw a match from my plane to burn ".
Carvajal Barrios, who would have expressed the exhaustion caused by what he has experienced in recent days in Spain, would have the intention of proving "his innocence" based on the evidence he claims to have. He would even have proposed to be tried in Spain for the same crimes he is accused of in the United States.
According to the sources of the aforementioned portal, "El Pollo" Carvajal spent the time he was a fugitive, collecting information that would affect the government of Pedro Sánchez and other socialist administrations of the past .
The Venezuelan general tries by all means at his disposal, to avoid being transferred to the United States, where documents and investigations indicate him as a protector of drug traffickers, as we will outline later.
Regarding the request for asylum, the Ministry of the Interior reportedly informed the court and the Estremera prison where Carvajal Barrios is being held that asylum was denied in 2019.
This is stated in a note from the Spanish agency EFE and that adds that "El Pollo" Carvajal "requested international protection in June 2019, months after being arrested after entering Spain with a false passport (...) His request was processed and was refused by the Asylum Office of the Ministry of the Interior when it did not meet the requirements, a resolution that on September 23, 2019 was sent to the Estremera prison because Carvajal had entered that prison and because the applicant had not indicated any private address in Spain ”.
A note from El Mundo de España maintains that Hugo Carvajal asked the Spanish justice to prevent his extradition to the United States, since he allegedly acted as a confidant for the intelligence services of the Iberian nation .
El Mundo also, in another note, reported that the Investigating Court number 6 of the Spanish National Court summoned Carvajal to testify on Monday, September 19, in relation to "some proceedings opened for international terrorism", this at the request of the defense of the Venezuelan general.
Before fleeing, the National Court had offered Carvajal to act as a protected witness
"as long as he provided relevant information related to ETA's ties with Venezuela."
This did not materialize at that time and now, after his arrest, Carvajal decided to collaborate of his own free will. He has also offered to provide information on the FARC .
Custodian of narcos
A journalistic investigation carried out by ITEMP Project - acronym for "Investigation of Journalistic Issues" - called "The darkest secrets of the head of the Venezuelan spies" , explains how
"El Pollo" Carvajal, in light of the power that held, would have provided protection and cooperation to drug traffickers who, in Venezuelan territory, found a spillway for their criminal activities.
“Ask Carvajal what Yesid Ríos was doing at home and on his sailboat in Margarita, in the island's marina, why did he protect him there? Too many things are clear! He provided him with documentation, cars, bodyguards, everything ”,
is one of the quotes that the journalistic note makes of the testimony given by a Colombian drug trafficker who, at the time of the report, was accountable to the US justice system.
This drug lord would have enjoyed Carvajal's protection for at least six years and is now a key witness in the indictment against the former Venezuelan intelligence chief. He is Yesid Ríos Suárez, also known as “El Enano”,
who was a drug supplier for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) that operated between Apure and Carabobo and from there he would supervise the cocaine laboratories in the department. from Arauca, from where the drugs passed to Venezuela to, from clandestine airstrips, be sent to their final destinations. Among the leaders of the guerrilla group —he was a member of his General Staff— whom Ríos Suárez served as an agent, was Noé Suárez Rojas, alias “Germán Suárez Briceño” or “Grannobles”.
"El Enano" maintains that he was able to maintain his base of operations in Venezuela, thanks to the support that "el Pollo" Carvajal gave him with direct custody, bodyguards and official Venezuelan documentation.
To US prosecutors, "El Enano" provided evidence of his claims, which included "a list of Venezuelan officers in his service, paid fees, as well as unique information from the former intelligence chief." The record given by the Colombian drug trafficker included "six officers, today with the rank of generals, who were part of the Government of Hugo Chávez in strategic security positions, and currently work in other positions in the administration of Nicolás Maduro,"
the ITEMP investigation that, in addition, refers to having talked with
Yesid Ríos Suárez's defense lawyer: “What my client related, related to the services that Carvajal provided, is totally true, and it served the prosecutors a lot to set up other cases ”.
It is also said that these data from "El Enano" coincide with the versions provided by another of his collaborators who was convicted by a New York court. This certified that Hugo Carvajal, in exchange for commissions in dollars, was assisting "El Enano" while in Colombia, the government of Álvaro Uribe had been fighting the guerrillas since 2002. "When in Venezuela they informed us that the deportation was going to Colombia and later to the USA.
I called General Carvajal on his cell phone. He attended to me and I asked him
To see if he could help us.
He answered that this was already beyond his reach and he hung up ”, said the operator and this is the report.
ITEMP also cites the case of Yon Pelayo Garzón. Garzón, a witness with whom the prosecution has also assembled the case against “El Pollo” Carvajal.
He is a militiaman who infiltrated the FARC in search of information for Colombian intelligence.
He worked for El Enano ”and tells that, on one occasion, October 2002, he went to a meeting that was held on the border between the Venezuelan state of Apure and the Colombian department of Arauca, where the delivery of weapons by Hugo was discussed. Carvajal and the custody that he would provide to the drug traffickers. Garzón became a protected witness for the DEA.
The curious thing, according to the report, is that these facts that the journalists learned of in documents supplied by the defense attorney of a drug trafficking case in Colombia in which "El Pollo" Carvajal was involved are included in the case file 499-2002 of neogranadina " to which ......
Garzón served as a witness in several drug cases, a sign that the Colombian government was aware of the criminal record of Chávez's confidant long before his rise as head of Venezuelan military intelligence.
A review of the public judicial records in Colombia reveals that in all these years the Prosecutor's Office of that country never opened a criminal case against Carvajal, despite what it knew. "
Former President Álvaro Uribe told ITEMP journalists that he had informed Hugo Chávez about the camps that the FARC had in Venezuela, but he denied it. Regarding Carvajal, he said he did not remember that he warned narco-guerrillas of his protection. The communicators say that they sent a questionnaire to Hugo Carvajal a week before he escaped in 2019, but that he did not answer due to this circumstance.
The activity of protection and custody of drug traffickers and drugs would have brought great economic benefits to Hugo Carvajal, according to the ITEMP Project. In this sense, they cite the case of a cocaine lord arrested in Venezuela and who was later extradited from Colombia to the United States,
who declared for the report and assured that
he paid the Venezuelan major general "thousands of dollars to the general, monthly, although it depended of the cargo that was sent ”.
"One of these drug traffickers told the DEA that he was dispensing periodic payments to Carvajal of 50,000 dollars, while the general guarded his routes, and spoke of the 'praetorian guard' of officers of the armed forces and politicians of the Government of Venezuela who exercised intermediary in this business ”.
The report also refers to “El Pollo” Carvajal's relationship with other drug traffickers, such as Luis Frank Tello Candelo, alias “Negro Frank”, who after being extradited to the United States, has provided valuable information to the prosecutors of New York and Miami on the alleged criminal activities of Carvajal Barrios.
Among what Tello Candelo refers to is an event that occurred in February 2006, when “Prior to a high-value operation that was to be carried out in Venezuela, in February 2006, the Sinaloa Cartel sent 'Negro Frank' a million dollars that were supposedly going to woo Carvajal ”.
Everyone warns in the note that
"The emissary of the Sinaloa Cartel with the loot, however, could never verify if the money was really delivered or if it was for Carvajal, he indicated in the interview, because for that appointment he attended the general never showed up with Tello Candelo in a restaurant east of Caracas ”.
The leader of the Cartel of the Suns
ITEMP had access to a DEA report that states that Hugo Carvajal cooperated with organized crime and the guerrillas practically as a branch of his trade, indicating that the general met with members of the government of Hugo Chávez, “with or without the participation of the President ”, it is noted and in these meetings drug trafficking operations and support to the FARC were planned.
The document would give an account of the places of the appointments, their participants and functions, revealing that Chávez would have been the true leader of the so-called “Cartel of the Suns” and “how far his closest collaborators, such as Diosdado Cabello or Tareck El Aissami, were participants in a criminal enterprise to retain power around this organization ”.
The DEA report, according to ITEMP, asserts that “apart from Carvajal, some of the other members of the Cartel of the Suns who served at the highest levels of the Government of Venezuela were former President Hugo Chávez, former Vice President Tareck El Aissami and former vice president Diosdado Cabello ”.
Likewise, it mentions one of the witnesses against the general who would be a former judge (Witness 1), who indicated that in 2005 he attended a meeting in the government palace in which President Chávez, Carvajal, and General Henry Rangel were present. Silva (for the date of the DISIP chief), Diosdado Cabello and Tareck El Aissami.
“During the meeting, Chávez urged the group to advance its political goals, including fighting the United States 'flooding' the country with cocaine. Chávez ordered Carvajal, Cabello, Rangel Silva, and others to coordinate with the FARC, and assigned Witness 1, among others, to prevent law enforcement authorities from interfering with these activities. Witness 1 later learned that this group met monthly and attended approximately four monthly meetings. "
They estimate in ITEMP that the aforementioned magistrate, according to data collected, could be the former magistrate of the Supreme Court of Justice, Eladio Aponte Aponte.
The signs of Leamsy Salazar
The DEA report cited by ITEMP Project also mentions that Lieutenant of the Venezuelan Navy Leamsy Salazar Villasaña, ex-escort of Diosdado Cabello and Hugo Chávez in the Military House, has provided data in the case that the United States maintains against Hugo "The Chicken” Carvajal Barrios, Cabello and the Cartel de los Soles. He is identified as Witness 2.
The DEA report states that Salazar said that “in mid-2008 he provided security at a meeting organized by Chávez at his ranch, which was attended by, among others,
the Venezuelan Minister of the Interior, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín,
and the head of the FARC Luciano Marín, alias' Iván Márquez '(…)
During the meeting, Witness 2' heard Márquez describe the need for logistical support, such as uniforms, boats and computers, and Chávez indicated that the funds would be provided to the FARC by Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) '(…) Witness 2' heard Chávez speaking on the phone from Carvajal. During the call, he heard Chávez refer to Carvajal by his nickname, 'Pollo' and order him to supply weapons to the FARC. '
Salazar also would have witnessed that, as in times when he was already serving as an escort for Diosdado Cabello, he saw how El Pollo Carvajal coordinated the dispatch of what appeared to be cocaine in speedboats in Cabo San Román.
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 OK Daily. "The National High Court suspends the extradition of 'El Pollo' Carvajal to the United States as a precautionary measure." September 14, 2021. https://okdiario.com/espana/audiencia-nacional-suspende-cautelarmente-extradicion-pollo-carvajal-eeuu-7788916
 Digital Freedom. "The 'Pollo' Carvajal threatens to pull the blanket and points out to the Government: 'If I fall, I will not fall alone.' September 14, 2021. https://www.libertaddigital.com/espana/2021-09-14/pollo-hugo-carvajal-amenaza-tirar-manta-gobierno-6817716/
 EFE "Hugo 'Pollo' Carvajal pulls out his claws and asks to testify before the Spanish judge about ETA and the FARC." September 16, 2021.
 The World. "'El Pollo' Carvajal claims that he worked with" the CNI "to avoid his extradition to the United States." September 15, 2021. https://www.elmundo.es/espana/2021/09/15/61422b00e4d4d89b3f8b4587.html
 The World. "The National Court cites 'El Pollo' Carvajal on Monday to testify on terrorism." September 16, 2021. https://www.elmundo.es/espana/2021/09/16/61436f06e4d4d86a6c8b45b4.html
 ITEMP Project. "The darkest secrets of the head of the Venezuelan spies." December 31, 2020. https://www.itempnews.org/2020/12/31/jefe-espias/