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'What's La Barbie smiling about?'

La barbie efe el pais

The headlines in Mexican newspapers this week -- "What's La Barbie smiling about?" -- weren't just posing a question. They were referring to speculation that arose almost immediately about the capture of the wanted drug lord Edgar Valdez Villareal, also known as "La Barbie," on Monday in central Mexico. If Valdez, as a U.S. citizen, were extradicted to face charges outside Mexico, could he reveal information about other wanted drug lords in exchange for a lighter sentence?

The Times's Ken Ellingwood addresses this topic in a story Wednesday:

That would give U.S. prosecutors a chance to glean information from Valdez about smuggling operations, money-laundering and the whereabouts of other drug bosses in exchange for the promise of a lighter sentence, if he is convicted.

"He's a businessman and a brilliant businessman, in many ways. He's going to want to cut a deal," said Fred Burton, vice president of intelligence at Stratfor, an Austin, Texas-based global intelligence firm.

"La Barbie" has already revealed plenty as it is. Under interrogation by Mexico's Federal Police, portions of which have been posted as video segments by some news organizations, "La Barbie" speaks of making "investments" in Colombia, receiving trailers full of cash from the U.S., and said he's already retained a producer to make a film version of his life.

Valdez also placed the blame for the current surging violence in Mexico squarely on Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, head of the Sinaloa Cartel (link in Spanish). The major drug lords in Mexico met at a "summit" in Cuernavaca in mid-2007, Valdez said, but talks later broke down.

"It all started with Juarez," Valdez said in the interrogation, adding that "El Chapo" broke an agreement and began entering the Juarez "plaza," or drug-crossing point, and killing opponents in the Juarez cartel.

Valdez then called the ruthless Zetas gang -- believed responsible for last week's migrant massacre -- a "danger" to everyone because they don't respect agreements at all. "Let not even their mothers love them," Valdez said. 

-- Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: Edgar Valdez Villareal, also known as "La Barbie," in custody in Mexico. Credit: EFE, via El Pais

Comments () | Archives (14)

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La Barbie is the new version of Kiki Camarena. An undercover DEA agent in mexico but forced to get captured aaand deported to the U.S. or get killed by the cartels of mexico that were on him already. That's why after been captured, he requested to be deported to the U.S. so he wouldn't be in a prison in mexico. He even said that even though there were around 300 marine soldiers, with his 100 men, he could of taken them down easily, but instead surrendered because he knew sooner than later, he'd be killed by the mexican cartels.

maybe some crack a joke :)

All this is a show. The television broadcasts the government revealing "important" information about the other capos and the public is supposed to feel relieved that the war on drugs is actually producing results. But we already new all of the information that is being divulged in the interviews.

The real question is, who on the inside let La Barbie get the drugs into the US. If we knew that, we'd really be making headway on the war against the narcos and corrupt government officials.

But we will never hear about that, the MX government will keep that secret. They don't want us to know because the corruption runs so deep it simply cannot be rooted out, not in the short term at least.

So for now we get these little soundbites and tv clips and that is supposed to make us believe in Calderon and stem any public outcry condemning this ridiculously violent and inaffective war on drugs in MX.

he is just one of thousands that are in the same level. Why ask him about the Other capos? The government already know who they are and where they hide.
he should be asked who is it that let him pass so much cocaine in to the US for years undetected... oh wait, it's also the corrupt government(s) of US and Mex.

US consumption is what motivates people like Valdez, the cartels and the Zetas. All these evil men take their marching orders from the American consumer of illegal drugs.

What;s he smiling about? Maybe he is a DEA spy working undercover, planted in the cartels to take them out.

He is smiling because he is gonna be held in a Mexican prison which means he will only do 20 years and he will live those 20 years with unlimited alcohol drugs women and anything he desires while running his operation from a smart phone just like every other criminal that has a little scratch in a U.S prison. The only way to stop the drug war is to stop Americans thirst for the product that the Mexicans can easily provide.

Bravo Camden. Your comments are more enlightening than the LA times article.

Joe...I guess we should all just give up?

Hes not talking to cut a deal. just because hes a businessman doesnt mean he doesnt understand the game and the rules. He just wants you to think that way thats why hes smiling.

No, he is smiling because they are implementing Jason's data analysis on cops in Mexico. The public has a right to know after all. Valdez is laughing, thinking that they are all either really good or really bad. (Exellent! Smithers, fire all the teachers in Mexico and bring some from China because they work for less.)

The future for the City of Bell or Vernon.... I mean his is immentley qualified to hold this position...or perhaps he is better suited to be the Mayor of Los Angeles...?

He is smiling because (he knows) catching him is not going to do NOTHING against the narco/drug war raging in Mexico. Those who know how it really works, there is somebody ready to replace him.

Valdez had already been offered a deal and this is the outcome of it. For a year the U.S. Govt had him working as he usually would, getting all the info the govt. needed about everyone else. Basically the U.S. Govt said, "You let us catch you, you make it out alive because your rivals are going to kill you anyway and afterwards we'll have you under protective custody harvesting potatoes somewhere in Idaho" (type thing). Valdez knew his rivals were out to kill him as he stated in his confession. In the last "good guys vs. bad guys" encounters when have you seen any of them come out alive? Valdez's former boss, Beltran-Leyva was killed in gun battle when found by the military. Pablo Escobar was killed as well and so on. Valdez coming out of this alive?? HMMM raises a few questions...because the deal was made! Valdez was an infiltrator for the U.S. Govt. He's smiling because he made it out alive and with everything he has to say, he's is sure to get a "sweet" deal. It's probably one of those "Have ones cake and get to eat it too" situations that he's smiling about. He did the wrong, has millions of dollars stashed somewhere, got out of this mess ALIVE, and by cutting an amazing deal with the Government will get a second chance at life while all the others are going to die. I believe that this is what the smile is all about...that (and because he's a cynic.)


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Ken Ellingwood
Daniel Hernandez
Efrain Hernandez Jr.
Chris Kraul
Richard Marosi
Tracy Wilkinson