The former military chief of Venezuelan Intelligence, Hugo Armando “El Pollo” Carvajal will remain in prison. This has been decided by the National Court, which has agreed – with the support of the Prosecutor’s Office – to extend his stay in prison up to the maximum limit allowed by law, four years, which in his case means extending that provisional prison until April 1, 2025). The magistrates support his decision on the high risk that he will flee, which would prevent his extradition to the United States, which is claiming him for crimes of drug trafficking and money laundering due to his alleged links with the Colombian guerrilla FARC. .
The Third Section of the Criminal Chamber reiterates in an order its previous arguments to deny his release and recalls that his whereabouts were unknown for almost two years, between November 2019 and September 2021, until he was found hiding in an apartment Madrid, different from where his partner and five children are registered. During that period of time, they explain, they could not be notified of the administrative decision denying asylum, which was subsequently appealed and confirmed.
“This situation of flight, insofar as he voluntarily stopped appearing on November 15, 2019 and remained out of the reach of this court -the magistrates point out-, allows us to infer that the risk of a new abduction from the procedure is high, especially when the extradition was approved by the government on March 3, 2002 and by order of November 26, 2021, confirmed on March 20, 2022, the guarantees requested from the United States authorities in relation to life imprisonment have been declared sufficient “. In addition, the court adds, not only was asylum denied after a first request, but he was requested again on December 30, 2021, being denied on March 20 of last year.
The Court believes that the seriousness of the flight risk, which would frustrate international legal cooperation when the extradition has already been judicially and governmentally authorized, is reflected in the procedural conduct of “El Pollo” Carvajal, “clearly dilatory and aimed at preventing the materialization Of the delivery”.
In this sense, the court highlights that he has requested international protection twice and has tried to stop the surrender, offering himself as a collaborator-complainant in Spain and going to the European Court of Human Rights (which has paralyzed extradition), “which although is legitimate, it has as a consequence the non-materialization of the delivery and the maintenance of the instrumental provisional prison”.
The Court considers his roots in Spain “non-existent” -which the former Venezuelan general defended-, since his partner and children were registered in our country in September 2021, five months after his first arrest.