Colombian Drug Trafficker Arrested in Venezuela

By Dialogo
May 14, 2013

The alleged Colombian drug trafficker Giraldo de Jesús Escalante Villegas, alias ‘Escalante’ and leader of the gang ‘Los Urabeños’, was arrested on May 10 in western Venezuela, Néstor Reverol, head of the National Anti-Drug Office (ONA), reported.

“A Colombian national, head of the Colombian criminal gang ‘Los Urabeños’ and wanted by Interpol under blue notice for drug trafficking, conspiracy and murder, was captured,” Reverol told the state TV station VTV via phone.

Interpol’s blue notice – ranked below the red notice of full alert – is an international cooperation warrant to obtain “additional information about the identity of a person, location or activities in connection with a crime,” the international criminal police organization states on its official website.

“He was the regional leader of this dangerous gang [‘Los Urabeños’] operating in Colombia. He was captured by ONA and Military Intelligence officials in the city of Barinas, in a joint operation with the Colombian authorities,” Reverol stated.

The director of ONA added that the capture of alias ‘Escalante’ came after operations and surveillance activities conducted over the course of two months, under an agreement between the two countries.

Venezuela and Colombia have a security cooperation and information exchange agreement that was signed in 2010.

According to Colombian daily El Tiempo, the authorities are awaiting the conclusion of the proceedings to enforce the extradition of Escalante Villegas.