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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs > INL Regional and Country Programs > Narcotics Rewards Program

Wilber Alirio Varela-Fajardo

Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Narcotics Rewards Program

DECEASED

Wilber Alirio Varela-Fajardo

(Aliases: Jabon; Detergente)

Other names: Jairo Wilmer Varela; Jairo Varela
DOB: November 6, 1957
Nationality: Colombian
Citizenship: Colombian
Height: Not Listed
Weight: Not Listed
Hair Color: Black
Eye Color: Brown

Wilber Alirio Varela-Fajardo was one of the top echelon members of the North Valle Cartel. Varela-Fajardo was known as a "point man" by the other leaders of the Cartel to direct trafficking and enforcement operations. He was also well-known throughout Colombia as an enforcer and the leader of a "hit man squad." Varela-Fajardo determined how much each North Valle Cartel leader needed to contribute for the targeted assassination of rival traffickers and suspected informants. Varela-Fajardo’s drug trafficking activities were integral to the North Valle Cartel which exports multi-ton loads of cocaine primarily from Colombia’s Pacific Coast to the United States and Europe. In March, 2004, Varela was indicted by a Washington D.C. federal grand jury on drug trafficking and racketeering charges stemming from his leadership role in the North Valley Cartel.

The North Valle Cartel base of operations is in the north of the Valle del Cauca region of Colombia. The influence of this organization extends to Cali and the port city of Buenaventura, Colombia. From the Pacific Coast of Colombia, North Valle Cartel drug shipments are sent via maritime conveyance throughout the Eastern Pacific to Mexico for ultimate delivery to the US. Varela-Fajardo plays a pivotal role in the violence and brutality that is associated with the North Valle Cartel to protect their power, territory, and property from rival Colombian drug trafficking organizations.

Notwithstanding his membership in the North Valle Cartel, Varela-Fajardo was the command and control chief of his own independent drug trafficking organization, including numerous drug transportation cells, security/enforcement cells, and other cells specializing in drug debt collection, weapons procurement, corruption and counter-intelligence. In March 2004, the Colombian Government, under Operation Resplandor (an interdiction and surge operation initiated to maintain continued pressure on the North Valle Cartel) arrested seven individuals linked to the Varela-Fajardo organization, and seized $4.7 million USD in counterfeit currency, $2.96 million USD in currency, and $71 million Colombian pesos, three vehicles, five motorcycles, and numerous weapons and explosives from Varela-Fajardo. In May 2004, the Colombian Government, under Operation Resplandor II, executed search warrants for information on Varela-Fajardo's illicit activities and seized $15,000 and numerous financial documents, a palm pilot and a computer hard-drive.

In early February 2008, Varela-Fajardo was found shot to death in the Venezuelan city of Merida.


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