Venezuela’s justice minister Sunday claimed that his country’s security forces, in joint operations with Colombia, have apprehended 18 leaders of “major criminal organizations.”
In a Sunday interview, Venezuela’s Nestor Reverol noted the success a cooperation agreement between Colombia and Venezuela has been in both countries counter-narcotics programs.
“We have an action plan with Colombia,” said the Minister, “[we] renewed a cooperation agreement recently and this allowed us to keep the channels of respect and information open and that has [allowed] us to capture 18 heads of criminal organizations engaged in drug trafficking.”
Reverol announced that in the last six years, 93 heads of drug gangs have been captured.
“Just a few days ago [we] deliver[ed] two major drug traffickers, organized crime bosses…without foreign support, in coordination with the authorities in Colombia,” said Reverol.
The Venezuela minister is referring to the extradition of Daniel Barrera, alias “El Loco” and Jorge Milton Cifuentes Villa, “JJ” or “Jota”. The foreign support the minister said Venezuela did not require is that of the United States. Reverol recalled that in 2005 Venezuela decided to suspend the 14 agreements it had with the U.S. in fighting illicit drug trafficking.
“Venezuela has always been open to international cooperation as long as you respect three fundamental aspects…self-determination, national sovereignty [and] the signed agreement,” said the minister.
The interview concluded with the minister stating that Venezuela and its 2013-2019 national drug plan put forth by President Hugo Chavez, does not need “any advice [or] any economic support” from the United States, the largest consumer of Colombian cocaine in the hemisphere.