Venezuelan official detained in Aruba on drug charges released

Senior Venezuelan official Hugo Carvajal, who had been detained by Dutch officials on the island of Aruba at the request of the U.S. on drug trafficking charges, was released on Sunday.
By JC Finley Follow @JC_Finley Contact the Author   |   July 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM
| License Photo

CARACAS, Venezuela, July 28 (UPI) -- On Sunday, Dutch officials on the island of Aruba released Hugo Carvajal, a former Venezuelan military general who had been detained since July 23 at the request of U.S. officials on drug trafficking charges.

Carvajal returned to Venezuela following his release, and appeared publicly with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro at a political event in Caracas later that day. Maduro condemned Carvajal's detention, alleging the former military intelligence head had been "illegally kidnapped."

Carvajal is wanted by the U.S. on charges of "materially assisting the narcotics trafficking activities of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)."

Venezuelan officials maintained that Carvajal was protected from arrest by diplomatic immunity, having been nominated to serve as consul general in Aruba. Initially, Dutch officials disagreed, arguing that because Carvajal's diplomatic appointment had not yet been confirmed by Maduro, diplomatic immunity could not be applied.

Venezuela's Foreign Minister Elias Jaua asserted following Carvajal's release that Dutch officials ultimately admitted Carvajal was protected by diplomatic immunity.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
North Korea officials defecting in fear of rising executions
North Korea: Airport terminal is 'new face' of country
Texas police body cam video shows fatal shooting
North Korea seeks help from Iran in battle against drought
Volkswagen assembly robot kills worker