Doubts about “El Barbie’s” capture

After Federal Police Commissioner Facundo Rosas detailed an account of an elaborate operation to capture Édgardo Valdez, “El Barbie,” at a safe house in Mexico State on August 30th (14 month investigation, 1,400 Federal Police operatives in three concentric circles, etc.), alternative narratives started to circulate. Speculation, fed by the lack of force during the arrest of the senior cartel figure and El Barbie’s enigmatic smile in his arrest photos, centered on a negotiated surrender. According to El Universal, Valdez was arrested almost by accident, when his three-car convoy was arrested for speeding, and he promptly identified himself and gave a detailed confession of his crimes as a drug chieftain.  The Ministry of Public Security issued a statement saying, “The specific operational details and the intelligence will continue to be confidential, in order to maintain operational advantage in current and future operations,” without denying the press stories. (Universal 9/8, 9/13, SSP 9/8, Reforma 9/12)

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