A headlamp! A headlamp! My cocaine kingdom for a headlamp!

Drug traffickers have just as hard a time finding spare parts for their cars as you do. Which is a good thing, as far as Colombian police is concerned.

Should've gone this route...

The AP’s Joshua Goodman has this juicy exclusive on the indictment and looming trial of Gersain Viafara-Mina, a relatively low-level player in the booming drug trade out of makeshift Apure State air fields. While Viafara-Mina is small fry, but he’s of interest to international investigators because the only way he managed to get his coke airborne was by paying off very powerful people in the Venezuelan military.

The best part, though, is how the Colombians managed to nab him:

U.S. and Colombian officials had been tracking him for at least two years, but he appears to have been done in by Venezuela’s economic crisis, which has led to shortages of all sorts. Investigators caught him when he crossed the border to the Colombian town of Puerto Carreno to pick up a spare headlamp for his truck…

That, my friend, is the world’s most expensive headlamp.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Wouldn’t you think that a guy charging $100,000 per drug flight would have a couple of lackeys hanging around to take care of mundane chores such as finding a new headlight for the pickup?

    Mind you, I am not saying the story isn’t true. What I am expressing is amazement that a simple-minded campesino can get that high up the food chain in the drug business in Venezuela.

    • I am skeptical, too! Notice they say it was a “spare” headlamp, so apparently his vehicle wasn’t lacking one when he was caught.

      I was thinking maybe the headlamp bachaqero industry was picking up. Otherwise, I’d conclude he was going to meet someone in the Colombian military, and preferred not to give out that name…

  2. A major milestone. This guy and another guy pending extradition a big reason for border closure. The article reveals a lot of previously unknown things. This guy is responsible at a minimum for 100 flights from Colombia to Apure. We now know how the aircraft where able to travel in BRV airspace using illegally acquired air traffic control squawk codes. Secondly we learn about intercepted communications i.e. phone calls in Venezuela. This is the NSA at work. We got a glimpse of the NSA capabilities with Venezuelan cellular networks from US turncoat (and traitor) Edward Snowden. I’m sure this AP article has been read by the entire Bolivarian military chain of command.

    We are entering unknown territory. There is no precedent for this. It’s obvious this crew is not leaving without a fight. The US is going to proceed unfettered. The US is not going to negotiate narcotics indictments. This has always been their achilles heel. All roads lead to military action. The Venezuelan miltiary is in disarray and does not have the ability to sustain major operations.

    Roy, the current president of Venezuela is a Colombian born bus driver. The president of the national assembly is a cashiered officer and also the Capo di tutti capi of one of the most powerful cocaine cartels ever.

    • I agree with you on the “glimpse of the NSA capabilities”.

      I strongly disagree that the U.S. would intervene militarily. Firstly, there is no need to. The Venezuelan government is not a real threat to the U.S. — a major annoyance, yes — a threat, no. Secondly, why would they commit forces when Venezuela is self-destructing in any case? Thirdly, an armed intervention would be a set-back for the current State Department policy (25+ years) of being very non-interventionist in Latin America. The U.S. wants partners in Latin America, not clients, such as it had in the past.

      The U.S. policy vis-à-vis Venezuela is containment of the drug trafficking and money laundering, and beyond that to openly express concern regarding human rights issues and encourage the same from other countries in the region. If you are expecting the U.S. to come rescue Venezuela, you are mistaken. Venezuela is going to have to grow a pair and save itself… “como sea”.

    • A military action? There is 0% chance of that. Why in god’s name would they intervene, other than to give life to the dying Chavismo disaster? they don’t want any piece of this mess.

  3. onI expect one or more Generals to be indicted for narcotics after the election. Also a cabinet level civilian. More pressure is needed and I’m a big proponent of rolling everyone up for narcotics.

  4. La captura del pollo en aruba dejo algo importante: los cinco celulares q cargaba. The US already had Colombia, Venezuela and Brasil cellular networks penetrated. El pollo capture was an intelligence coup,

  5. “Born in Colombia, Viafara-Mina owned a butcher’s shop in Apure, a sparsely populated region of sweltering plains where an airstrip can be built in a few hours.”

    AKA ‘El Carnicero Volador de Apure’

    “..the only way he managed to get his coke airborne was by paying off very powerful people in the Venezuelan military.”

    It’s the only way you can comprehend how about 8 Million corrupt enchufados are about to vote for the PSUV and Masburro. CapoCabello and all the Military top “officials”, keep enough cash available for every “rebolusionario” on every pueblo, every caserio, every rancherio, urbano o de las provincias Llaneras. Loads of cash available for theft everywhere, one way or another, tons of freebies can be negotiated by anyone, from a car battery to fresh chickens from Colombia, to the sindicatos podridos, to the cool $800,000 overnight cadivi and pdvsa transfers to Andorra or Montevideo.

    People are miserable in their colas and they get killed for a cel phone, but Cash? Bolival Fuelte : no problem, available everywhere in Cleptozuela. Through drugs, or anything other Patria bonita activity.

  6. There will never be an American invasion into Venezuela. Bush bankrupt the country with his jackass Iraq adventures and now congress would never OK another foreign invasion save for matter of immediate atomic peril. And South American countries don’t have actual militaries. Only federal police forces with fancy uniforms and bullshit medals on their chest. If power shifts hands in Dec. the military is going to find themselves in an awkward place, given all the Cubans on hand and all that coke money circulating around. December in Venezuela is going to be interesting.

  7. Willie Nelson, a que 5 celulares te refieres? No me acuerdo haber visto mención de aquello. Y Sammy, que dijo Snowden sobre penetración de la red de celulares en Venezuela x la NSA?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here