“MX” for Borderland Beat
Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) leader Gerardo González Valencia, who is imprisoned in Uruguay since 2016 for his money laundering activities, is now extradition-ready. The U.S. government had less than 30 days to complete the transfer. A few weeks ago, he came close to going out free after the U.S. government refused to accept the extradition deal proposed by the Uruguayan government.
In February 2020, the Uruguayan government agreed to extradite González Valencia to the U.S. just as long as he did not face the death penalty or life imprisonment if found guilty. But U.S. authorities wanted the possibility to convict González Valencia of life imprisonment and refused to accept the terms. Since González Valencia had already fulfilled his money laundering sentence in Uruguay, he was close to being released.
His attorney issued a motion to request his release and the final decision was left to the Uruguayan Supreme Court. However, last week, they rejected his release petition and amended the extradition deal. Uruguayan officials were swift in ensuring that González Valencia’s extradition deal was amended because they fear that he has plans to escape prison. Investigators stated that a drone was found spying over the prison where González Valencia is currently in when his extradition deal was originally refused.
Gerardo González Valencia is the brother of Mexican drug lord Abigael González Valencia (“El Cuini”), who headed the CJNG and Los Cuinis. This criminal group has presence in Mexico, the U.S., Europe and Asia. González Valencia coordinated international money laundering schemes by using shell companies to purchase assets in Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
His wife Wendy Dalaithy Amaral Arévalo was reportedly working with him on this large money laundering scheme when the couple moved from Mexico to Uruguay in 2011. He had millionaire properties and businesses in Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay.
The original documents of the investigation framing González Valencia were leaked in 2015 through the Panama Papers, where it detailed real estate transactions and industrial sector investments tied to him. After a multi-year investigation by Latin American officials and the U.S. Department of the Treasury, González Valencia was arrested in Montevideo in April 2016, and imprisoned for money laundering charges.
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