“Socaj” for Borderland Beat

The US Embassy has told Marcelo Ebrard that “La Barbie” is still in their custody. This would still be true if he is currently a protected witness serving his prison sentence.

After the news of “La Barbie’s” no longer being listed in BOP custody, first reported here at Borderland Beat; the media and Mexican government have been looking to verify and find out why this is the case as he was serving a nearly 50-year prison sentence in the US.

The Secretary of Foreign Relations, Marcelo Ebrard, reported that the United States government has not yet given full details to Mexico about “what follows” in the case of Valdez Villareal and although the US Embassy told him that “La Barbie” is still under custody, “let’s see if it’s like that or not”.
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“The United States Embassy told us today that he is still in custody, we are going to see if that is the case or not. It was earlier today,” Ebrard said when asked by the media in the border city of Tijuana.

Interviewed in Tijuana, Ebrard Casaubón pointed out that he has requested information from the US government: “I still have no confirmation that he has been released; that is to say, he is still in custody but they have not given us details of what is next.”

AMLO addressed the news first broken by Borderland Beat, that “La Barbie” was no longer in US BOP custody during his morning press conference.

In his morning conference this Tuesday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Public Security requested information from the United States to find out if the drug trafficker is still in jail. AMLO asked to “see what the arrangement was” between the capo and the US authorities “because his sentence was for several years” and “here in the country there are also complaints filed.”
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Statement from AMLO’s Press Conference on 11/29/2022

INTERLOCUTOR: President, on the issue that the United States released ‘La Barbie’, what does the Mexican government think? Shouldn’t they have extradited him to the country so that he can finish paying his sentence here in the place… instead of releasing him? Or if the Government of Mexico has information that they put ‘La Barbie’ in a protected witness program?


INTERLOCUTOR: From collaborating witnesses.

PRESIDENT ANDRÉS MANUEL LÓPEZ OBRADOR: It is not yet precisely known if he is still detained or not.

This was announced yesterday by the Milenio newspaper [Borderland Beat first broke the story], who knows what its source is. Of course, it must be a US agency, because there’s no way they’re looking, right?, on the list of all the prisoners whether they are there or not. Someone knew or wanted to know and leaked the information.

But we also have to see if it is true because the information is being requested, Foreign Relations is already doing it and the Ministry of Public Security is doing it. Today it will be known. If he is not in jail, you have to see what the arrangement was, because his sentence was for several years.

Here in the country, there are also complaints filed, but as it is still very early, as, during the course of the day, everything will be known tomorrow. And let’s not get ahead of ourselves, we are going to wait and see what is happening.

La Barbie has up to 4 cases pending in Mexico that he could face trial should he be extradited to Mexico. However, especially as he is a US citizen and likely cooperating with authorities that he would not be sent to Mexico to stand trial there as well.