Thu | Dec 9, 2021

Court rules to extradite Venezuela spy

Published:Thursday | October 21, 2021 | 12:06 AM


A Spanish court on Wednesday ordered the extradition of a former Venezuelan spy chief to the United States, where he is wanted on charges of drug trafficking and belonging to a terror organisation.

Retired Major General Hugo Carvajal, who for more than a decade advised the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez, before breaking with his successor, had been resisting extradition since he was arrested in Spain in April 2019.

Carvajal had avoided extradition to the US when he was picked up in Aruba in 2014 on the same New York indictment that Spanish authorities acted on. He returned to Venezuela after slipping the grasp of authorities and was received as a hero.

But he eventually broke with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, throwing his support behind the opposition to Maduro’s socialist regime. He then left Venezuela for good.

Prosecutors in New York allege that Carvajal used his high office to coordinate the smuggling of approximately 5,600 kilogrammes of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico in 2006.