Legendary narcotrafficker Edgar Valdez Villarreal has been collaborating with Mexican authorities since 2008. having obtained a mid-level position in the Beltran Leyva cartel, La Barbie had been giving information on the movement of his boss and colleagues in the organization and had spent at least six months as an illegal captive in military base known as camp # 1
According to the information made available by Contralinea the collaboration between the narco trafficker and the authorities of the Secretary of National Defense occurred within these last few months to establish geography and locations of his bosses in the Beltran Leyva and Sinaloa cartels. Supposedly under torture, Valdez Villarreal had given names and methods of operations for protection rackets and hidden caches of weapons and money. The data from these sessions were used by the government of the Felipe Calderon to arrest and kill several high value targets.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal was formally presented to the public under presumption of detention on August 30th. His capture happened with constraints placed on the authorites of the state of Mexico and Morelos not to harm him, the cost was the lives of other narcotraffickers (who were killed during military operations or were presented with visible signs of torture), and it was implicated that no shots were fired during his arrest.
The Supposed Betrayel.
El Rey Zambada and his son, Jesus.
During the supposed illegal captivity in Military Camp #1, La Barbie had given up the safehouses of Reynaldo Zambada Garcia, alias El Rey and brother of Ismael Zambada Garcia, alias El Mayo (second only to Joaquin El Chapo Guzman in the Sinaloa cartel), including a house in the Federal District of Mexico City where on october 22nd of 2008 15 people were arrested including El Rey. Back then, El Rey Zambada occupied the plaze of Valle de Mexico for the Sinaloa cartel. Among his areas on influence was the international airport of Mexico City, a major transit point for drugs, mainly cocaine and ephedrine for the production of chrystal meth in the country. A year after his arrest, authorities arrested the nephew of El Mayo and son of El Rey, Jesus Zambada Reyes using intelligence provided by la Barbie. Jesus Zambada committed 'suicide' by hanging himself in a detention cell shortly after his capture. Authorities claimed he had been telling them of his intents of self harm days before the young man took his own life.
The information from Valdez Villarreal also led to an arrest announced on october 20th 2008 of 15 members of the Cali cartel – 11 of them Columbian nationals including four women in the Federal district. That group was headed by Teodoro Mauricio Fino Restrepo, alias El Gaviota who was heavily involved with the Beltran Leyva brothers. According to sources and information obtained by Contralinea, the announcement of the massive detention had been delayed since the month of September. That version claims that the “narcofiesta” where the arrests took place was a fabrication made up as a cover story for the government which would also make the war against the narcos more spectacular.
Another case in which Valdez Villarreals' information proved vital was called Operación Limpieza (Operation Clean up), also stared at the end of 2008. This culminated in the detention of high level figures in the office of the Assistant Attorney General for Special Investigations and Organized Crime (SIEDO), a subdivision of Mexico's office of Attorney General (PGR). Among those noteworthy arrests were former Technical Director, Miguel Ángel Colorado and Fernando Rivera Hernández, former Director of Intelligence.
Recently, La Barbie has been suspected of treason within the Beltran Leyva cartel and his been blamed for the death of Arturo, leader of the cartel which bears his last name. According to the versions obtained by Contralinea, Valdez Villarreal did indeed provide intelligence which gave the location of El Barbas to the authorities. La Barbie allegedly received a call for help from the capo who was surrounded at the time, but his main bodyguard refused to send his own sicarios in for back up and insisted the drug lord give himself up peacefully.
Hierarchy of Positions in the Mafia
Although president Felipe Calderon referred to Valdez Villarreal as “one of the most wanted criminals in Mexico and abroad” on his Twitter account, sources have revealed that La Barbie was considered a medium-range operative in the Beltran Leyva cartel and was not a general. His only position of authority was on the level of sicarios. The detention of La Barbie is part of 238 members and helpers of the Beltran Leyva cartel who have been arrested since 2007.As documented by Contralinea (editions 183 and 190) of those detained 15 were released in January of 2007 and Feburary of 2010 berfore they were seen by a judge or stood trial.
The Calderon administration has been accused of favoring the Sinaloa cartel which has had the affect of turning the alliances of the Beltran Leyvas upside down (specifically the arrest of Alfredo Beltran Leyva, El Mochomo) which saw some factions of the fractured cartel aligning themselves with Los Zetas. Of those who were considered the most visible leaders: Alfredo and Carlos Beltran Leyva, brothers of the fallen Arturo, Jerónimo Gamez García, “who handled the money in the acquisition of cocaine from Columbia,” and Héctor Huerta Ríos, “key member who handled large drug shipments headed north of Mexico.
According to the federal Secretary of Public Security(SSP), Genero Garcia Luna the capture of La Barbie “was due to the intelligence work that was initiated in January and led to different areas of the country until Valdez Villarreal was detained.” the version submitted by the SSP assured that the blood thirsty sicario had become one of the principal candidates to head the Betran Leyva cartel even though he stood accused of being a traitor to Arturo Beltran Leyva.
In his first ministerial declarations, Valdez Villarreal revealed that he had trafficked cocaine to the United States by routes that stretched from Columbia-Panama-Mexico. Even this activity only confirmed La Barbie's medium level in the hierarchy in the mafia, not a high level don as he was accused of by the authorities. His route has been recently documented in reports by authorities in Latin American and Caribbean nations as well by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Confidential sources consulting with Contralinea have assured that this criminal route become increasingly lucrative as a shipment made its way north; While a kilo of cocaine goes for about $150 USD in Columbia, in Panama it more than doubles in value at $350 in Mexico its worth about $1500, and in America it can go for $2200
Valdez Villarreal was born in Texas and started his career in the Sinaloa cartel. Later, he became responsible for collecting drug taxes in “plazas” controlled by the Beltran Leyva's as well as heading the sicarios of the organization and often served as the bodyguard for Arturo Beltran Leyva.
The U.S. Petition for the extradition for La Barbie will be heard in October, after the 40 day arraignment concludes, according to a statement released by the PGR on Friday.