The Mexican government is requesting information from the US Bureau of Prisons as to why a brutal drug trafficker’s name has disappeared from a list of inmates in the agency’s custody.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, who is known as “La Barbie,” was sentenced to prison until 2056 after he was convicted for his alleged links to the Sinaloa drug cartel as a hitman, El País reports.
The alleged cartel member’s name no longer appears in the BoP’s database of inmates, prompting Mexico City to inquire as to his whereabouts.
“Information is being requested,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said during a press conference on Tuesday. “Over the course of the day or tomorrow, everything will be known. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.”
A spokesperson for the US Bureau of Prisons told El País that there are a number of reasons why an inmate’s name might not be included in the database.
“There are a number of reasons why an inmate may be listed as ‘not in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons,’” the spokesperson said. “Inmates who were previously in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons and who have not served their sentence may be out of custody for a period of time to attend court hearings, receive medical treatment or for other reasons. We do not provide specific information about the status of prisoners who are not in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons for security or privacy reasons.”
Assuming Valdez Villarreal has not been moved, he is being held at the Coleman II high-security penitentiary in central Florida.
The paper reached out to the trafficker’s lawyers, but they offered no comment beyond saying they did not know why their client’s name was not included in the list.
Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard added during a Tuesday press conference that he does “not have confirmation that La Barbie has been released; that is, he is still in custody.”
According to the paper, Valdez Villarreal was one of the most trusted lieutenants of cartel boss Arturo Leyva, during which he allegedly collected payments from underbosses and recorded videos of victims being tortured and killed.
Source: El Financiero