Venezuela (PanAm) – Major General Nestor Luis Reverol, who was in charge of the National Anti-Drug Organization (ONA) in Venezuela, is officially a fugitive from US justice, according to New York’s Eastern District Federal Court in Brooklyn.
Reverol, who was appointed on Tuesday, August 2 as Interior Minister of Justice and Peace by President Nicolás Maduro, has been charged by the United States with crimes related to his participation in drug trafficking.
In the coming days, his name and photos will reportedly appear on the wanted list for Interpol and other international agencies seeking his capture.
Nestor Luis Reverol and General Edylberto Molina were accused of conspiring to smuggle large quantities of cocaine into the United States from Venezuela between 2008 and 2010.
The dossier stated the minister of interior and now deputy director of the ONA, “received payments from drug traffickers for alerts about future raids, and places and times where agents were going to do inspections all so they had time to move the drugs and look for alternative routes to get the product out of Venezuela.”
US Attorney General Loretta Lynch ordered the accused assets be frozen.
The properties of both defendants are subject to confiscation in accordance with the provisions of the penal code of the United States. The government may confiscate any property that has been obtained as a result of criminal activity for which they are being charged.
The Venezuelan government, meanwhile, called the indictment of Reverol “vile and miserable imperialist aggression.”
Todo nuestro apoyo y solidaridad al querido M/G Néstor REVEROL y al G/D Edilberto MOLINA ante esta infame y miserable agresión imperialista.
— Tareck El Aissami (@TareckPSUV) August 2, 2016
All our solidarity and support to our dear Major General Nestor Reverol and Edilberto Molina for this infamous and miserable imperialist aggression
Everol and Molina are not the only ones in the US accused of drug trafficking in Latin America. Currently, two nephews of Nicolás Maduro, as well as his wife, were arrested on US soil for trying to bring cocaine across the border.
Hugo Carvajal, who was Head of the Directorate of Military Intelligence under President Hugo Chavez from July 2004 to December 2011, has also been investigated.
In 2014, Carvajal was detained in Aruba due to an arrest warrant issued by the United States for his alleged connection to a drug ring linked to the FARC guerrillas in Colombia. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro protested, saying Carvajal had diplomatic immunity. After a series of talks, he was released and returned to Caracas.
Ismael Garcia, Deputy to the National Assembly, said he believes the appointment of Nestor Reverol as the new minister of Interior and Justice was intended to protect him from drug trafficking charges in US federal court.
Garcia said the indictment for drug trafficking came to light after Reverol was removed from his post as general commander of the National Guard. Garcia said it is curious this new appointment as Minister of Interior and Justice happened one day after public disclosure of the international allegations.
“The least Nicolás Maduro could do instead of becoming an accomplice to drug trafficking, be it military or civilian, is to investigate the accusations” the newspaper El Nacional wrote.
Politicians, writers, analysts and the public reacted on social media, often calling Venezuela a “narco-state.”
A nadie debe extrañar el nombramiento en Relaciones Interiores de Reverol porque estamos en un narco-Estado
— Marianella Salazar (@AliasMalula) August 3, 2016
Nobody should be surprised by the appointment in Interior Relations of Reverol because we are in a narco-state.
Maduro designó a Néstor Reverol como min. de Interior y Justicia. Recordamos q este señor fue acusado por EEUU por delitos de narcotráfico
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) August 3, 2016
Maduro appointed Néstor Reverol as Minister of Interior and Justice. Let’s remember this man was accused by the US over drug trafficking crimes.
Maduro parece andar hoy cumpliendo las directrices de Diosdado. Premia a Reverol, destituye a Abad y amenaza con no darle dinero a la AN.
— Leonardo Padrón (@Leonardo_Padron) August 3, 2016
Maduro seems to be following Diosdado’s directives. He rewards Reverol, dismisses Abad and threatens not to give money to the National Assembly.
This report prepared by Sabrina Martín for PanAm Post.