The extradition of Hugo Armando Carvajal, The Carvajal Chicken, has become a skein that continues to unravel. More than two years after the National Court approved it for the first time, the battle still continues in the Criminal Chamber of the judicial body, which this Friday has declared the guarantees offered by the United States “sufficient” to proceed with the delivery to that country of the former Venezuelan military, who is claimed for drug trafficking, money laundering and collaboration with the former guerrilla of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
With this resolution, which can be appealed, the court again gives the green light de facto to the extradition of Carvajal, which was suspended last October. The Court then decided to paralyze the process due to a formal defect and sent a letter to the North American country for it to offer guarantees regarding the treatment that would be given to the military in the event that he was handed over. The response from the US embassy finally arrived on November 17, which exposed the possibility that El Pollo was sentenced to life imprisonment, but that US laws “allow requesting its review.”
According to the judges, these guarantees presented by the United States are “sufficient in order to preserve the fundamental and personal right not to suffer torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”
After his extradition was approved in 2019, Carvajal fled and remained on the run from Spanish justice for almost two years. Until his arrest on September 9 in Madrid. Since then, the former head of the Venezuelan counterintelligence opened different legal fronts to try to prevent his surrender: in the Ministry of the Interior, with a request for asylum; at the National High Court, where he requested that he be considered a protected witness to collaborate in a case on international terrorism; and in the Supreme Court, where he appealed the agreement of the Council of Ministers that, on March 3, 2020, approved his extradition to be tried in the southern district of New York.
The Criminal Chamber itself has accused Carvajal of deploying a “delaying strategy” after El Pollo accused Podemos of receiving payments from the Venezuelan Government, which led to the reopening of an investigation filed in 2016 on the alleged irregular financing of the party leftist. “[La] Carvajal’s will to try to collaborate with the Spanish justice would be a delaying maneuver of the extraditional process, which he already managed to delay by not appearing voluntarily before this Section once the arrest warrant was issued on November 8, 2019, and search and capture ”, they detailed the magistrates, who riveted: “[Entonces] his police arrest was necessary ”.