Hugo Carvajal was jailed on Saturday by Spain's High Court pending a decision on an extradition request from the United States. The US now needs to formalise its request for his extradition.
While Spanish police did not fully disclose the charges brought against the general, in 2008 he was sanctioned by the US Treasury for "materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities" of Colombia's FARC rebel group.
It’s over. DEA announced former Venezuelan official Hugo Armando Carvajal Barrios, a/k/a “El Pollo,” was arrested in Madrid, Spain, based on an Interpol Notice related to the charge filed in Indictment 11 Cr. 205 in the Southern District of New York. https://t.co/TolUMUsaeF— Fernando Amandi Sr. 🇺🇸 (@FernandoAmandi) April 13, 2019
During the court hearing, Carvajal denied having links with Colombia's FARC and the drug trafficking charges, as well as challenged his potential extradition to the United States, a court spokesman said.
USA Berman: Hugo Carvajal, a former high-ranking official of Venezuelan military intelligence, allegedly conspired with others to traffic more than five tons of cocaine into the United States since at least 2006. Barrios’s arrest exemplifies this Office’s resolve 1/2— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) April 12, 2019
As the former general explained to the court, he left Venezuela a month ago by boat and would fight the extradition request due to his ties with Spain, as his family currently resides there.
In 2014, Carvajal was detained at the request of the United States in Aruba, the Netherlands' island in the Caribbean, where he served as a Venezuelan consul general. However, shortly after he was released and returned home. Carvajal has been a member of the National Assembly since 2016 and supports opposition leader Juan Guaido.
Carvajal was a trusted adviser to former Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez and served as military intelligence chief in 2004-2011 and 2013-2014.