Top Colombian Drug Lord Captured in Venezuela

By Dialogo
September 20, 2012

Top Colombian drug dealer Daniel Barrera, aka ‘‘El Loco Barrera’‘, was captured in San Cristóbal, Venezuela, announced Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on September 18. The head of state also revealed that the CIA collaborated in this arrest.

‘‘El Loco Barrera was busted in San Cristóbal. He was probably the most wanted drug lord of recent times, with 20 years spent dedicated to all kinds of crimes and perverse alliances with paramilitaries and the FARC,’‘ stated Santos during the announcement of the arrest in a national address broadcasted on radio and television. He also thanked the Venezuelan government for its ‘‘efficient’‘ contribution.

Daniel ‘‘El Loco Barrera’‘ is considered the main drug dealer in Colombia. It is estimated that his organization has sent to the United States and Europe more than 900 tons of cocaine in the past years.

‘‘He was captured in San Cristóbal (Venezuelan Andes), with the help of the ONA (Venezuela’s National Anti-Drug Office), which was collaborating for some time with British intelligence, the M-16, and U.S. intelligence agencies, especially the CIA,’‘ indicated Santos.

The Venezuelan government confirmed the arrest in San Cristóbal (Táchira, west), near the Colombian border.

The Minister of Interior and Justice, Tareck El Aissami, stated in his Twitter account that on September 19 “images” and “details of the operation” will be published. He emphasized that this arrest “is the most important blow ever made against drug trafficking in Venezuela.”

Santos said that “this operation was directed from Washington” and he mentioned that the chief of the Colombian National Police, General José Roberto León Riaño, is currently in that city.

Barrera was captured on September 18 while he was in a phone booth on a street in San Cristóbal, León Riaño, told broadcasting network Caracol.

The operation was conducted from the United States, “because we needed special technical support. It was necessary to generate a special situation, considering the new way the Colombian police operate, and to avoid any situation that might jeopardize the operation,” he said.

The United States offered a five million dollar reward in exchange for information that would lead to the arrest of “El Loco Barrera”, whose capture was ordered in 2007 by the former Colombian President, Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010).