Andrea Vélez Fernández went from being a close collaborator of drug trafficker Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán to an informant from the US government. He even testified in the trial in which they sentenced the gangster to life imprisonment. "Mr. Guzman tried to kill me," he said in court.
In the so-called “trial of the century” it was mentioned that, in effect, she survived an assassination attempt that they tried to entrust to hitmen of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang in Canada. The boss ordered that they kill her because she failed to deliver a $ 10 million bribe to a Mexican general.
But on Tuesday the federal prosecutor denied Vélez Fernández his request by determining that she should not receive financial compensation as a victim of the former head of the Sinaloa cartel. This was expressed in a letter sent by the agency to federal judge Brian Cogan, who presided over this case.RELATED
"She is not eligible for restitution," underlines the letter signed by Richard P. Donoghue, head of the East New York district of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
The four-page document explains that Vélez Fernández does not qualify to receive such payment because on November 13, 2013 he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import cocaine into the US, the same charge for which he was convicted 'El Chapo' Guzmán on June 17 July.
“The accomplices cannot be‘ victims ’under the statutes of restitution,” emphasized the Prosecutor’s Office.
Who was his direct boss, his countryman, the narco Alex Cifuentes, testified that being his "secretary" he performed several tasks for the Sinaloa cartel, such as transporting illicit profits and helping in efforts to obtain drugs. While FBI agent Steven Marston reported that he gave them several undercover recordings he made during a cooperation that they described as "proactive."
At the conclusion of the case against Guzmán, Vélez Fernández had tears that he came to see ‘El Chapo’ as if he were his father, until that image fell off when he learned that he ordered to be murdered.
“I am a miracle of God, because Mr. Guzman tried to kill me (…) He offered a million dollars to the Hells Angels to end my life, this caused me a psychological trauma and I escaped with the help of the FBI,” read a letter in the Brooklyn court.
He could not deliver the $ 10 million bribe to a corrupt general "because he hated Joaquin so much," said Cifuentes, who said that angered "El Chapo" and called her "liar." The homicide was never agreed, because Cifuentes was arrested at a Sinaloa ranch and extradited. In a US prison, he agreed to head the man with whom he shared a few years in the mountains.
“I still have nightmares of how Mr. Guzmán used me as bait to kidnap an ex-military in Ecuador putting my life at risk,” said Vélez Fernández, reading his prepared statement. "I had everything and I lost everything, even my identity."
She now lives under another name, as part of the US Marshals protected witness program. “I lost my family, my friends; I became a shadow without a name, ”lamented the Colombian.
Bringing 13-year-old girls to Guzman
A few hours before the jury's deliberations began, the world learned that ‘El Chapo’ would also be a child predator. That disturbing plea points out that he had sex with girls he called "vitamins" because he believed they gave him "life."
"For approximately $ 5,000, the defendant or one of his associates could request that the girl of his choice be taken to one of the defendant's ranches for sexual intercourse," said Cifuentes, cited as an anonymous witness in court documents that were published. February 2
The Colombian capo told authorities that on multiple occasions, in 2017 and 2018, Guzmán sexually violated “girls as young as 13 years”. To the little ones he said "vitamins."
He also told investigators that Vélez Fernández, who was nicknamed ‘Comadre María’, offered photos of girls to Guzmán to choose from. Vélez had a modeling agency in Mexico City.
A man who was involved in the Sinaloa cartel told Univision Investiga a few months ago that Vélez Fernández was in charge of recruiting models and actresses who traveled once or twice every month to clandestine camps in the mountains to participate in “sex brigades ”With Guzmán and his people.
The Colombian, also identified with the alias of ‘Ávatar’, gave an alleged bribe of 100 million dollars to the then president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto. Cifuentes said that the politician of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and who left office in November 2018, had requested $ 250 million from Cha El Chapo ’to finance his successful election campaign.
At that time I was employed by a political consultant from Peña Nieto, JJ Rendón. The accusation has been rejected by officials who worked with the former Mexican governor.
By 2013, when Peña Nieto was in power and Vélez Fernández was already an FBI informant, she had contact with a high military command, who was bribed by ‘El Chapo’, said the trial. "I introduced friends to the General of the Nation (sic) on Thursdays for private parties," Cifuentes said.
Vélez Fernández said that he came to consider ‘El Chapo’ and his cartel as part of his family, until one day he was warned that he could only leave that criminal organization “in a plastic bag or with his feet ahead”. I mean, dead. Now he says they were his "captors."
At the end of reading his letter in the Brooklyn court, Vélez Fernández sent this message in a broken voice to Guzmán: "Sir, as I apologize, I forgive you and I hope you can forgive me." The former head of the Sinaloa cartel looked at her as if she were a stranger.
Tunnels, cans of peppers and guns with diamonds: 22 photographs that proved the crimes of ‘El Chapo 'and sent him to jail for life
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