"Crazy Barrera" Drug Lord Nabbed in Venezuela

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Sept. 19 2012 1:37 PM

"Crazy Barrera," Notorious Colombian Drug Lord, Nabbed in Venezuela

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Antinarcotics police officers prepare charges to blow up a laboratory for processing cocaine base seized from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Colombia, on January 25, 2011

File photo by Guillermo Legaria/AFP/GettyImages.

One of Colombia's most wanted drug kingpins, Daniel Barrera, was captured by Venezuelan police earlier this week. "El Loco" or "Crazy Barrera," as he's known, is suspected of smuggling 100 tons of cocaine to U.S. and European markets in recent years.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos went on air to announce Barrera's arrest in the western Venezuelan city of San Cristobal. "Crazy Barrera has been perhaps the most wanted kingpin in recent times," Santos said. "He has dedicated 20 years to doing bad things to Colombia and the world, all types of crime, perverse alliances with paramilitaries, with the (rebel group) FARC."

More details on Barrera's drug trafficking history from Reuters:

"The government says Barrera's smuggling ring was capable of sending 10 tonnes of cocaine a month to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, the most powerful organized crime gang in the Americas. He had a $5 million bounty on his head from the United States and $2.7 million from the Colombian government."
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The Los Angeles Times reports that drugs allegedly being shipped by Barrera have been the target of huge seizures in recent years. While bloodshed from Colombia's long guerrilla and drug wars has dropped since a U.S.-backed offensive began more than a decade ago, bombings, murders and combat continue, mainly in border areas.

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