Drug Trafficker Wanted by the U.S. Arrested in Colombia
By Dialogo June 25, 2013
Colombian drug trafficker Hugo Armando Valencia, aka “El Topo”, wanted by the United States for extradition, was captured in the city of Medellín by the Colombian Army, on June 21.
“During a military operation, drug trafficker Hugo Armando Valencia, aka “El Topo”, responsible for smuggling illicit drugs from South America towards Central America, the Caribbean, Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States, was captured,” the Army stated on its webpage.
Valencia is “accused of trafficking $17.5 million in narcotics” and of “coordinating shipments of 1,600 kilos of cocaine, as well as a huge amount of heroin.”
The criminal had changed his physical appearance in order to avoid detection; he was identified bearing false documentation and attempted to escape when he was being captured, according to the authorities.
Valencia allegedly has links with important Colombian and Central American drug cartels, as well as with the well-known Mexican Sinaloa Cartel.
The extradition order weighing on Valencia was filed in 2007 by Florida’s Federal U.S. District, “for conspiracy of heroin trafficking,” according to the Army.
Since 1980, Colombia and the United States have an extradition agreement in force. The Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court of Justice, and the Colombian president are in charge of approving the extradition of nationals related to drug trafficking.
Colombia is the main cocaine producer worldwide, with 345 tons in 2011, according to the UN.