CJNG/Los Cuinis leader José González Valencia, a year behind bars in Brazil

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CJNG/Los Cuinis leader José González Valencia, a year behind bars in Brazil

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Summary: High-ranking leader of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel and Los Cuinis, José González Valencia, may be extradited to the United States from Brazil this year. He was arrested in December 2017 after traveling from Bolivia to Brazil for vacation. Please visit his Wikipedia page for more information on the case.



Mexican drug lord José González Valencia has been in prison in Brazil for a year. The 43-year-old, identified by the Brazilian Federal Police (PF) as the leader of Los Cuinis, is still detained in Brazil, but the decision on his extradition to the United States awaits trial by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) .

The extradition process was approved by minister judge Celso de Mello on December 11. The last move of the process was to carry out a legal diligence, which was done earlier that month. In the United States, 'Chepa', 'Camarón' or 'Santy' (nicknames for which González Valencia is known) is accused of international drug trafficking. The Mexican national continues behind bars in the Federal Penitentiary of Mossoró, in Rio Grande do Norte while Brazilian authorities wait for his transfer.

The extradition of 'Chepa' was requested by the United States government on June 14, 2017, when the American intelligence received information on his travels into Brazilian territory. The PF found that, at least since 2015, Brazil has become a frequent destination for him and his family. They came three times in this period. However, there is no information on any criminal activities while he was in Brazil.



Arrest in Ceará

Above is one of those houses in Brazil where González Valencia was arrested in the afternoon of December 27, 2017. He was driving to a water park in Aquiraz with his family when ten federal police identified the man wanted by the police of the United States and Mexico. The suspect tried to present a false document with the name Jafett Arias Becerra, issued in Bolivia, but was taken to the Federal Police's Regional Superintendence in Ceará, in the neighborhood of Fátima, in Fortaleza, where he remained in custody until March of this year, when he was transferred for the Federal Penitentiary System.

According to the PF, the international trafficker entered Brazil through São Paulo, and then traveled to Fortaleza on the same day. He landed in the capital of Ceará with a couple of friends and waited for the arrival of his wife and six children on the 26th. 'Chepa', through a laranja (Brazilian Portuguese word for "strawperson"), rented four luxury condos in one of most famous beaches of Ceará, Taíba, in São Gonçalo do Amarante. The property usually hosts large parties. It was there that he intended to spend New Year's Eve and leave only on January 3, 2018.

The Mexican defense lawyer, affiliated with the Brazilian Bar Association Pará Section, was not available for comment.

Sources:
http://diariodonordeste.verdesmares.com.br/editorias/seguranca/mexicano-preso-no-ce-ha-um-ano-segue-com-extradicao-indefinida-1.2042486

Notes and credits:
I tried my best to translate the source from Brazilian Portuguese to English with my limited proficiency in the language. The first picture is from González Valencia's Bolivian ID card. The picture of the Brazilian condos is owned by VCrepórter. Information from Wikipedia was written by me and is under free domain.