Wednesday 8 April 2015

Passport of former Calderón official recovered from Venezuela drug crash

Norberto Miranda Pérez, 51, a former area director for the Mexican Attorney General’s (PGR) Air Services Directorate (Dirección General de Servicios Aéreos, or “DGSA”), appears to have died when the drug trafficking plane he was piloting crashed in Venezuela.
Cocaine packages recovered from the wreckage

Venezuelan officials say that the crash occurred on April 2. When they went to the crash site in Cañaote, within the Girardot municipality of Cojedes state, they recovered about a ton of cocaine (999 kilos) from the wreckage. All four crew and passengers had died.

The Venezuelan authorities allege that Miranda Pérez was the pilot. They claim to have found his remains, as well as his passport.

The passport of Francisco Javier Engombia Guadarrama, 30, was also recovered. Venezualan authorities are saying that Engombia Guadarrama was also a Mexican national, and a pilot.

Miranda Pérez was employed in 2008 by then Mexican President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa to oversee the PGR’s air fleet. During his time at the PGR, according to La Jornada, employees accused Miranda Pérez and other directors of "threats, harassment and bullying."

Miranda Pérez had been promoted despite accusations that he had been involved in drug trafficking back in 1997. Specifically, three suitcases with a total of 60 kilos of cocaine were found in a plane in which 18 DGSA members were travelling from Tapachula, Chiapas, to Mexico City.

At the time, Miranda Pérez was put under house arrest. However, it appears that he was never convicted of any crime, and was allowed to rise up the ranks.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

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