Following the reversal of a Spanish court’s decision to refuse the extradite Major General Hugo Carvajal to the US on charges of drug trafficking, authorities have been unable to locate him.
On 16 September 2019 Spain’s highest criminal court (“Audiencia National”) rejected the US request, declaring it to be politically motivated, and ordered his release. It was subsequently reported in Spanish media that on Friday 8 November that decision was reversed on appeal and Maj. Gen. Carvajal’s extradition ordered.
Maj. Gen Carvajal served as military intelligence chief for several years under Hugo Chávez, the former Venezuelan leader. He subsequently served as a lawmaker in the ruling Socialist party before a fallout with the current leader Nicolás Maduro. He stands accused of transporting more than 5.6 tonnes of cocaine from Venezuela to Mexico, while on its way to the US. The charges carry a sentence of between ten years and life imprisonment under US law.
Spanish officials have been unable to locate Maj. Gen Carvajal, who has been free on bail with his passport confiscated, since the court’s decision. Maria Dolores de Argüelles, Maj. Gen. Carvajal’s Spanish lawyer, said she had not been aware her client was to be re-arrested and she had no idea of his whereabouts.