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Venezuela arrests Colombian drug lord ‘Valenciano’

posted by Tim Hinchliffe

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Valenciano Oficina

Venezuelan officials have captured Colombian crime boss Maximiliano Bonilla, alias “Valenciano,” reported Colombian media Monday.

The leader of the warring drug trafficking organization “Oficina de Envigado” was arrested in the city of Maracay, some 80 miles from the capital Caracas.

According to newspaper El Tiempo, Colombian intelligence officials worked together with Venezuelan police to arrest the crime boss.

The Oficina de Envigado, founded by the legendary Pablo Escobar, split into two factions after the 2008 extradition of “Don Berna,” who ran the Medellin-based organization after Escobar’s death.

The split was followed by a surge in homicides in Medellin as Valenciano and his rival “Sebastian” fought over control of the city’s underderworld and strategic territories.

According to organized crime website Insight Crime, Valenciano, 39, reportedly began working for the Oficina when he was still a teenager, and managed to struggle his way to the top of the organization.

The crime boss has been linked to rebel groups such as the ELN and Mexico’s violent drug-trafficking gang, “Los Zetas.”

The U.S. Department of State has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Valenciano.

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