By now you know that the narcosobrinos — Cilia Flores’s drug-runnin’ ne’er-do-well nephews — were found guilty of conspiring to send drugs to the US and are waiting to hear their sentence. It’s been quite a ride for this poor family, I don’t think anyone stopped to consider that they could be the real victims here.
Efraín Flores said that he started in the drug business because he didn’t even have $10,000 in his name. Not even 10 grand! Poor thing, what did he eat? I’m sure he was eating mini arepas just like we do sometimes in my house (and we don’t make them like that for the cuteness.)
The narcosobrinos had it rough. Efraín Flores said there’s a lot of envy in their family, and some Flores don’t share their success or help other relatives with the businesses. For example, PDVSA has big debts with lots of companies, so Efraín thought he could charge those companies commissions to get those payments moving. His cousin Erick Malpica Flores, PDVSA’s finance director, was key to this plan: he could authorize the payments just by waving his hand or something, but he refused.
What a prick.
I feel you, guys. I know what the lack of opportunities feels like, to be stagnated using your income just to survive. Last week I felt like spending and I bought a catalina for me (just one, I’m not a millionaire.) That’s why when I heard that Efraín Campos Flores had a Ferrari I was so glad for him. He’s an example of entrepreneurship when the world seemed to conspire against him. And it was a good call getting the Ferrari in black — the rojo rojito could cause some distress among the hungry peasants.
Now, in all seriousness, the sentence finally gives us clearance to refer to Venezuela as a narcoestado. Go ahead, it won’t sound as if it came out of some clickbait-news-website for doñas del cafetal. There have been many reports linking high government officials with the drug business, but this is actually the first time someone this well-connected is imprisoned for it.
The recordings used as evidence showed them bragging about the influence they had with the security forces thanks to their family name, and the fact that the DEA couldn’t get into Venezuela
The narcosobrinos (I’m so glad that term caught on) had no trouble -reports Vertice news- using their diplomatic passports and Maiquetía’s presidential terminal for their operations while the local authorities looked the other way. The recordings used as evidence showed them bragging about the influence they had with the security forces thanks to their family name, and the fact that the DEA couldn’t get into Venezuela.
We don’t even have to read between lines, this is what Campo Flores said to a DEA informant:
“In Venezuela the operation is handled by the Cartel de los Soles [controlled by Armed Forces generals] and government officials, and on the other side by government people that were working [trafficking drugs] and among all the people they fumigated [eliminated] anyone that tried to compete with them in the country”
[Original: “En Venezuela operan el Cártel de los Soles [controlado por altos oficiales de las Fuerzas Armadas] y por otro lado la gente del Gobierno, que eran unos ejecutivos del Gobierno que habían estado trabajando [traficando droga] y entre todas las personas se encargaron de fumigar [eliminar] todo aquel que intentaba entrar a trabajar al país”.]
In the same conversation, Campos Flores mentioned Diosdado’s involvement in the drug business. Diosdado is already allegedly being allegedly investigated by the DEA (I have to say “allegedly” a lot so Godgiven doesn’t sue me) so this won’t be good for his case.
On top of that, according to a DEA informant, Bladimir Flores, the brother of Cilia Flores and the Inspector General at the Investigative Police (CICPC), helped to arrange the meetings between the drug dealers and the narcosobrinos.
Meanwhile Efraín said that he started in the drug business 12 years ago. That’s well into the Chavez era.
The MUD’s reaction
While the government tries to minimize the media impact of the Narcopricks incident (among other things, by completely banning the subject from TV), it would make sense for the MUD to make as big a ruckus about it as possible.
The first days, we saw a somewhat weak reaction. The “dialogers” (Chúo, Ocariz, Luis Moreno, and Zambrano) haven’t mentioned the subject yet (if the ones sitting at the other side of the table are really drug lords, I get it). Capriles dared to tweet a picture about it, showing the fact that the narcopricks used diplomatic passports, and our chancellor Delcy Rodriguez publicly said she would sue him for forging documents.
Things got interesting this Tuesday, where they went all in and discussed the subject in the National Assembly. The government shot back with “ustedes son cabrones” and soon thereafter walked out of the dialogue’s detailed talks (mesas técnicas).
According to Colombia’s Radio Caracol, PSUV sources say they walked out because the National Assembly hasn’t kept up its end of the bargain by removing the Amazonas deputies and cancelling the political trial against Maduro. Opposition sources say that they walked out because of that debate in the AN.
Many of the details are still to be worked out. But already, thanks to the stupidity of the narcosobrinos (hey, that’s their lawyers saying it!) we’ve caught our most complete glimpse yet into the scale of the narcoestado.
Efraín, Franqui, thank you, we hope you keep talking. Have fun in jail.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate