Colombia Drug Cartel Leader Captured; Set to be Extradited to U.S.
One of Colombia’s most notorious drug cartel leaders is now causing less trouble for the authorities – but the mice may play while the cat is away. The Inquirer reported that intelligence agents have captured Salomon Camacho and will extradite him to the United States.
Camacho is known as the leader in the Norte del Valle cocaine cartel and heir to Pablo Escobar’s notorious Medellin cartel. The drug lord was arrested in Valencia, northern Venezuela, according to Interior Minister Tareck El Aissami.
The United States government had issued a $5 million reward for Camacho, who was also wanted by Interpol on illicit trafficking charges, conspiracy to commit a crime and money laundering.
According to the U.S. State Department, Camacho began his trafficking career with the Colombian Medellin Cartel in the early 1980s. He was indicted in Florida for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in 1991 and was also the subject of two additional indictments sometime later.
"He is one of the 10 most sought after drug trafficking bosses at an international level," said El Aissami.
It is rare for there to be such cooperation between the United States and Venezuela as President Hugo Chavez publicly broke ties with the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2006. Perhaps this move is a step in continued collaboration in a war against drugs.
The potential of future cooperation between the two governments could rest solely on this particular case and how it is handled by both sides. Venezuela will also be under pressure as a successor to Camacho is likely to emerge if he is convicted or even before depending on the structure of the cartel itself.