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Spanish Police Capture Hugo Chavez’s Former Intelligence Chief

Carvajal, El American

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[Leer en español]

The Spanish National Police arrested this Thursday in Madrid Hugo “el Pollo” Carvajal, the former Venezuelan Army general who was head of Intelligence of the late dictator Hugo Chávez, and who had been a fugitive from Justice since his escape in 2019.

According to information from El Mundo, the police found Carvajal “totally cloistered”, in a hideout where he lived “without going outside or looking out of the window, and always protected by people he trusted.”

“El Pollo” Carvajal was internationally wanted since the United States charged him with drug trafficking crimes while he worked for Chávez, but he fled after the Spanish Justice approved his extradition and released him provisionally.

Spanish media report that the former Chavista military had an arrest and imprisonment warrant in force, corresponding to the extradition issued by the Audiencia Nacional in November 2019, and which remains pending execution.

Carvajal and the American Justice

The operation that achieved his arrest was carried out through a judicial authorization, with the support of the Police Intervention Unit (UIP) and in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States.

Spanish Police
Reward offer issued by the U.S. Department of Justice. (US DoJ)

The U.S. State Department, under its Narcotics Reward Program (NRP), offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of “El Pollo” Carvajal.

U.S. authorities accuse him of participating in a “narcoterrorist, corrupt and violent” conspiracy with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and of being part of the Cartel of the Suns, a Venezuelan drug trafficking organization.

Carvajal Barrios was indicted in March 2020 by the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for conspiracy to commit narcoterrorism, conspiracy to import cocaine, and firearms-related charges.

Previously, the SDNY indicted him for these same offenses in 2019 and 2011, and the Southern District of Florida also indicted him in 2014.

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