Venezuela extradited alleged Colombian drug lord Salomon “Papa Grande” Camacho Mora to the U.S. on Tuesday to face money laundering charges.
The 65-year-old Colombian is accused of having trafficked up to 10 tons of cocaine from Colombia to the U.S. in the years 1999-2000 alone, and is a former associate of infamous Medellin-based drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The U.S. had offered a reward of $5 million for Camacho’s capture.
According to U.S. authorities, “Papa Grande” has been involved with the Cartel de la Costa, the Cali Cartel, and the Guajira Cartel.
“Camacho’s activities as a major drug trafficker have harmed the people and undermined the sovereignty of Venezuela as well as Colombia and the United States,” said Robin Holzhauer, spokeswoman at the US Embassy in Caracas.
Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami declared that the deportation of Camacho, along with two other criminal figures extradited that day, “demonstrates the efficiency and firm commitment of our government and its institutions in the battle against crime,” reports the Washington Post.
Venezuela is keen to improve its image by being seen to deal harshly with the drug trade, following U.S. accusations that it has not made sufficient effort to prevent cocaine being trafficked through its borders.