Leaders of the Cuero Valencia cartel, a transnational drug trafficking network, are captured in Colombia

Leaders of the Cuero Valencia cartel, a transnational drug trafficking network, are captured in Colombia

Quito—The brothers Heder and Dairon Cuero Valencia, leaders of a drug trafficking cartel that operated in America and Europeand with an international location order, were captured in the Cauca valley, in the southwest of Colombiain an investigation that lasted more than a year, authorities reported on Sunday.

The brothers of Colombian nationality were arrested on January 6 when they were celebrating the birthday of Heder, alias “Curva”, considered the main ringleader, along with his brother Dairon, alias “Chanchi”, second in command of the criminal structure.announced Vice Admiral Orlando Grisales, chief of the Naval Operations Staff of the Colombian National Navy.

In a joint press conference between Colombian and Ecuadorian authorities, Vice Admiral Grisales stated that The two brothers have a red Interpol notice and an international arrest warrant from the southern district of Florida, with a pending sentence of 11 years in prison for drug trafficking.

The command of the Colombian navy explained that both drug traffickers, along with 26 other people – also detained – created the criminal organization dedicated to the production of drugs and their international transfer to Central America, the United States and Europe.

According to binational authorities, the group operated in association with the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel and especially with dissident groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), such as the Second Marquetalia and the Franco Benavides bloc alias “Ivan Mordisco.”

“Curva” and “Chanchi” were detained between 2013 and 2018 in Colombia, but were released provisionally, after which they fled to Ecuador and, when they were about to be captured, they returned to Narino, from where they moved to the Cauca Valley. , where they were finally captured.

The result of the joint operation that began in 2022 and that had the intelligence cooperation of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, in English) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA, in English) of the United States constitutes a major blow “because we are completely dismantling a transnational criminal organization”said Grisales.

The structure, said the vice admiral, had a capacity to traffic five tons of cargo per month. cocaine, “which represented monthly income of approximately $190 million,” and annual income of $2,000 million. These resources “supported many illicit activities” of the “Alfonso Cano Western Bloc” of the extinct FARC, with whom they were associated, he assured.

The drugs left Colombia and reached the coasts of the Ecuadorian provinces of Esmeraldas, Manabi and Guayas, where there were collection centers and were later transported by boat to Central America, explained the anti-narcotics director of the Ecuadorian police, General William Villarroel.

Subsequently, Mexican flag vessels received the shipments on the high seas and were in charge of their distribution to the different destination points, added General Villarroel.

The operation resulted in the seizure of 2.7 tons of cocaine, a fishing boat, five Go Fast boats, $50,996 US dollars, 693,000 Colombian pesos, 19 outboard motors, 40 fuel drums, five vehicles, as well as firearms. , ammunition, satellite phones, cell phones, radio buoys and more items that will serve as evidence for judicial prosecution.

Despite their Colombian origin, most of the criminal structure of the Cuero Valencia brothers was in Ecuador, highlighted the Ecuadorian police command.

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