Counterfeit badge with Mexican narco José González Valencia hiding in Bolivia for 2 years as a farmer
Written by Daniela Castro, Guilherme Amado and Nelfi Fernandez * – July eight, 2019 Insight Crime /
José González Valencia is a man with many names.
Among his comrades in the Jalisco cartel are the strongest and most violent drug cartels in Mexico, referred to as Chepa, Santy, El Camaron or Shrimp.
He has additionally been alleged to be a monetary and money laundering group named Los Cuinis, named
But in Bolivia, the place he spent more than two years circumventing the regulation, he was often known as Jafett Arias Becerrana, a respectable animal husband
* This article was originally revealed Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Venture (OCCRP). It was translated, edited, and reprinted with permission, nevertheless it does not essentially mirror the views of the InSight crime.
On this present, a robust drug lord escaped the announcement by the US, Mexican and Bolivian authorities, despite the fact that the US Division gave a prize of as much as $ 5 million for his info. He received a Bolivian id card, bought the land in an exclusive residential constructing, and turned a successful Zebu cattle breeder, OCCRP has discovered.
González Valencia flew in Bolivia several occasions in 2016 and 2017, and asked questions about how He was so easy to stay comfortably as a rich soldier when the USA needed him accountable the conspiracy for giant cocaine distribution.
The Bolivian authorities blame Mexico for his or her lapse, but in addition admit the fruitful Santa Cruz. The world, often known as the Bolivian barn, is a widespread hiding place for drug smugglers. They recognize that they need criminals akin to shrimp to seek out a protected haven there
Cartel at crossroads
The new era of the Jalisco Cartel (Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación – CJNG) is worried concerning the US and Mexican authorities with its brutal techniques and speedy progress since its establishment in 2011.
CJNG is in Guadalajara, the capital of the state of Jalisco in Mexico, behind the worst drug offenses of the last decade, together with the torture of the yr 2011 and the bloodbath of 35 rival cartel members in Veracruz and the launch of a army helicopter on a rocket-powered grenade in 2015. Cartel even use cannibalism as a new members' answer.
CJNG is now current in most of Mexico and has connections elsewhere in Latin America, the USA, Asia, Europe and Australia. It’s chargeable for human trafficking of at the least five tonnes of cocaine and methamphetamine to america every month, in response to former US lawyer Jeff Periods.
Last October, Periods announced new measures for the CJNG, including hefty awards for hijacking its leaders and monetary penalties for a number of Cuinis. He also demolished 11 alleged members of the cartel, together with Jose González Valencia.
Periods have been referred to as CJNG from the 5 most harmful worldwide legal groups on the planet.
every weapon we have now, ”he stated at a press convention. “They are cross. This cartel is a priority. ”
Like many felony organizations, CJNG is a household affair. José González Valencia – a man who lived as a livestock man in Bolivia, is the brother of his chief Nemesio Oseguera Cervantes, also called "El Mencho".
The rise and enlargement of the cartel is essentially because of Los Cuinis, which, based on the US authorities, controls the family of González Valencia.
El Mencho's wife Rosalinda González Valencia and her three brothers José, Gerardo and Abigael played an essential position in establishing and operating Los Cuinis, where Abigael works for "El Cuinina" – a squirrel
in an interview with the US drug authority Proceso in 2015 by the US Drug Management Company (DEA) described El Cuini as an intelligent service provider whose diversification strategy distinguished CJNG from different cartels
”Cuini targeted on collaboration with Colombian and other South American drug smugglers and scammers to promote cocaine and other medicine on E urope, regardless of america. This made a huge distinction with the earned revenue, he stated.
"El Cuini" and "El Mencho" understood that there have been extra risks … if they have been competing with different US market cartels, "one other
José González Valencia introduced cartel funding when his brother Abigael was arrested in February 2015 He was also liable for safety for Director El Mencho, by making alliances with Asian and European legal teams and establishing relations with arms sellers in the USA and Central America, the Mexican newspaper La Jornada reported.
his excessive profile, José González Valencia simply moved to Guadalajara, Bolivia, when he first arrived within the country later that yr, his flag was a Mexican passport he acquired in Guadalajara in 2013 beneath the identify Jafett Arias Becerra
In 2016, when he first got here to Bolivia, he used it to get the Bolivian emblem for foreigners. She was additionally granted a short-term keep of one yr and applied for a second, which might have been in drive until March 2019.
The Courtroom's e-book exhibits that American officers had been aware of his appointment since January 2016. But based on the Bolivian authorities, Interpol
González Valencia was capable of travel between Bolivia and Brazil with none doubt no less than 3 times: in October 2016, in line with the restrict values obtained by OCCRP, Brazilian associate Epoca Magazine.
Neither Interpol nor the US Department of Justice touch upon it.
Like "Jafett Arias Becerra", a drug supplier was capable of stay freely, the town of Bolivia Santa Cruz de la Sierra
He later advised the Brazilian authorities that he selected Bolivia as a result of he needed to make a new start in a quiet place, not cover within the regulation.
”I needed l ive in a quiet city abroad the place no one knew me, he stated.
When he arrived, he made contact with a new area, cattle breeding, where the beef is a huge firm.
The Santa Cruz division has about 2.5 million inhabitants, so the quantity of cattle is 3 times greater than we’re, ”stated Jose Alberti, a Bolivian economist.
In October 2016, Gonzalez Valencia acquired a 1,355 sq. meter plot in Urubo, the exclusive residential space of the Santa Cruz capital, in response to paperwork acquired by Santa Cruz de la Sierra, an OCCRP associate El Deber. An area real property professional stated that such a buy, with tennis courts and a semi-Olympic pool and where it was "an architectural landmark without comparison", would have value about $ 200,000 at the moment.
Subsequent month, in line with documents acquired by OCCRP, González Valencia joined Bolivia's leading cattle breeding affiliation, the Zebu breeders' association in Bolivia (ASOCEBÚ).
A big part of the Bolivian livestock is the Zebu, a relatively small cow with a giant shoulder hump, initially developed for Indian subcontinent, but properly fitted to different scorching environments. Alberti stated that a potential guarantor, comparable to ASOCEBÚ, must present in depth documentation displaying his credentials, describing the necessities as a "filter" to stop drug money from getting into the Bolivian livestock business.
Entry requirements embrace the possession and map of the applicant's cabañas or livestock rearing farm and the police officer's certificates. Foreigners should additionally present an official Bolivian id card
The place of González Valencia's Cabaña, if he has, is unclear. In April 2017, he confirmed four of his cows to Bolivia's largest agricultural exhibition at Santa Cruz International Agricultural Truthful, which represented la Luz's identify. She also confirmed her cattle at two other huge festivals in the identical yr and was one of the perfect exhibitors in two courses.
Fernando Baldomar, President of ASOCEBÚ, affirmed that González Valencia fulfilled all of the group's necessities, including the genuine Bolivian government emblem. But he stated the association didn’t publish particular person Cabañas knowledge.
Couldn’t comment on González Valencia. His lawyer answered the unique questions concerning the buyer's donation process, but did not reply later calls. Journalists couldn’t get any feedback on the González Valencia cattle enterprise
Cattle in camouflage
Probably the most unusual thing González Valencia did in Bolivia might have been to hitch ASOCEBU
. a suspicious start line not often relates to breeding associations or formally registers cattle, steps to facilitate their monitoring.
In addition, González Valencia was far from the first to cover in this means. For reasons of safety, the Bolivian anti-narcotic substance reported that overseas medicine often trigger livestock farmers in the nation. He stated they often set up ranches in distant areas where they will set up secret trails and drug laboratories.
In January, Mario Morfulis was arrested in Bolivia, which Interpol needed to stay from 2013 onwards. the ranch. He was a member of the Castedo clan, a drug trafficking group operating in the northern half of his residence country. Based on the Argentine authorities, Morfulis was a "nationalized Bolivia" who used cast paperwork to hide his id.
In 2017, an roughly $ 1.three million armored automotive was robbed close to Roborea, the japanese city of Bolivia. The authorities arrested Mariano Tardell, who was head of the Brazilian drug gang First Capital Command (PCC), saying he was hiding as a cattleman in Santa Ana, japanese Bolivia. There he stored two giant properties referred to as "Laura" and "Alborada" and introduced that they belonged to the locals, casting giant parties with stay bands, giving the cattle and hiring the villagers to work for him.
Carlos Noel and Héctor Fabio Buitrago The cousins of Colombian drug dealers and paramilitary chief Martín Llanos have been arrested in 2011 in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, the place Colombian newspaper El Tiempo informed Carlos Noel's "successful Colombian livestock farmer and extra business man".  And Maximiliano Dorado, one of Brazil's most sought-after narcotics, obtained Bolivian citizenship and was a cattle ranch in Santa Cruz until he was expelled from Bolivia in 2010. His brother Ozzy Dorado, additionally a farmer and farmer, was arrested in Bolivia for legal group and justification of illegal income.
Based on Joadel Bravo, the prosecutor of the former Bolivian advisory workplace, z is a notably engaging target for lively human traffickers, as its financial system is growing quickly and is near El Chapare, an area with many timber. Additionally it is constrained by Brazil and Paraguaya, both widespread targets for drug trafficking
Drug Smuggling in Bolivia
Historically, Bolivia has the lowest complete crop quantity in the Andean region, both behind Colombia and Peru. However since 2015, the country has grown in response to a growing quantity of chefs, in accordance with figures from the United Nations Workplace on Medicine and Crime, and its potential for pure cocaine manufacturing has greater than doubled over the previous decade, in line with US estimates.
In 2017, President Evo Morales accepted a regulation to increase the whole allowable space of 12,000 hectares to 22,000 hectares, which is estimated to exceed the 15,000 hectares needed to satisfy home demand for conventional purposes.
Bolivia can also be the country of origin for cocaine and cocaine processing and, based on the US Division, an important transit point for Peruvian cocaine
President Evo Morales's expulsion of DEA from 2008 and the shortage of gear similar to radar and helicopters have also made Bolivia extra weak drug smugglers, former prosecutor prosecutor Joadel Bravo
Judicial and police corruption, insufficient judicial assets and political interference also hamper the battle towards drug trafficking in accordance with the US State Drug Report on Worldwide Medicine
In an interview with El Deber, Bolivian authorities minister Carlos Romero admitted that the country's agriculture and agriculture Cattle
“These people have taken a“ refuge ”in quotation marks in Bolivia and have been bogusing enterprise,” he stated. “Or, in reality, they have been doing enterprise, in all probability on the idea of illicitly acquired drug trafficking assets, and within the hope that they may have the ability to wash money from production entrepreneurship, be it agriculture, cattle.
However he stated that the federal government is making an attempt to make the nation less hospitable to criminals.
Regional Counter-Narcotics Intelligence Middle, a world intelligence platform established last Might at Santa Cruz de la Sierra with UN help, builds a database of cash flows and legal organizations, and the federal government is now utilizing a new automated fingerprint authentication system to create human identities, Romero stated
At the opening ceremony, the consultant of the United Nations Office on Medicine and Crime, Bolivia, Thierry Rostan, emphasised the position of Bolivia and, particularly, Santa Cruz de la Sierra as a world drug transit point.
Corruption in Santa Cruz
The current excessive-profile case exhibits that drug trafficking has already corrupted the Bolivian police pressure. In March, two senior Santa Cruz cops have been arrested and arrested for alleged drug trafficking
In January, Rostan once more warned that the number of foreigners getting into the nation would improve in drug trafficking. Between 2017 and 2018, 469 foreigners have been arrested in Bolivia for drug trafficking, together with 142 Colombians, 121 Peruvians, 83 Argentines and 58 Brazilians.
Rostan additionally beneficial extra coordination between government businesses to determine traffickers earlier than arriving in Bolivia
. Columbus Maximiliano Dávila, Head of Anti-Drug Motion in Bolivia, did not reply to the request for comment.
González Valencia finally caught up in December 2017 – not in Bolivia but in Brazil. He had flown there with a Bolivian good friend, Mario Genaro Soljancic Fernandez, a livestock veterinary vendor
González Valencia deliberate to satisfy his spouse and youngsters dwelling in the USA on a vacation on the vacationer middle on the northern coast of Taíba. Within the identify of Soljancic, they rented a automotive and a seaside villa with a basketball courtroom and a small swimming pool for 15 days.
In response to a US arrest warrant by Brazilian officers, the police city of Fortaleza identified automotive rentals and then used daytime surveillance video till they discovered it, stated Aldair da Rocha, in charge of the operation. González Valencia was arrested on December 27, 2017 on the outlets of the Seashore Park's nearby water park and vacationer middle. He carried his Bolivian ID card.
Fortaleza, Brazil's new cocaine middle
Fortaleza, a inhabitants of 2.65 million, is one of the most important cities in Northeast Brazil and its pristine Atlantic beaches make it an important tourist destination.
The announcement that the desired drug smuggler had lived in Bolivia for almost two years induced confusion.
Henry Baldelomar, Santa Cruz's immigration officer, accused Mexico of weak spot within the verification of his id.
The place González Valencia started – and where he stopped up. Credit: Edin Pasovic
The Mexican authorities haven’t responded to repeated requests for remark. The Bolivian Directorate-Common for Immigration stated Interpol had never given alerts for "Jafett Arias Becerra". After arresting González Valencia, in a written assertion, he said that he was granted a "temporary stay for one year for the family" justified by his "economic dependence" and "emotional relationship with Bolivian citizens."
Nevertheless, González Valencia is just not recognized to have had a relationship with Bolivia, and on arrival informed the authorities that he didn’t know anybody there. After the arrest, he only admitted using the fallacious passport
"I have never been involved in drug trafficking anywhere," González Valencia informed a Brazilian decide about stopping Portugal.
He has now been convicted of using a false document and is awaiting give up to the USA in a Brazilian prison in Mossoro, the most important safety state of affairs for notably harmful prisoners
In February 2018, DEA interviewed González Valencia. Her lawyer, Otoniel Maia de Oliveira Júnior, stated her shopper denied being the individual they have been on the lookout for. DEA refused to comment
The Brazilian Federal Supreme Courtroom lately extended its imprisonment by referring to pending give up, the extremely high dangers of the person and his connections with the CJNG.
In response to the acquired property paperwork, OCCRP associate El Deber, González Valencia continued to own Bolivian belongings in March.
* This article was revealed within the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Challenge (OCCRP). It has been translated, edited for readability and re-printed with permission, however it might not correspond to InSight Crime (or SOF) views.
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