HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Charges Beauty Queen for Ties to Colombian Kingpin
BRIEF

Venezuela Charges Beauty Queen for Ties to Colombian Kingpin

EL LOCO BARRERA / 8 NOV 2012 BY VICTORIA ROSSI & EDWARD FOX EN

Venezuela has charged a model and former "Miss Venezuela" contestant accused of working with now-captured Colombian kingpin Daniel "El Loco" Barrera.

Gabriela Fernandez Ocando, winner of the 2008 “Miss Zulia” beauty pageant, was arrested on October 1 and has been charged with money laundering and criminal conspiracy, reported Noticias 24.

Fernandez is suspected of being part of a network that helped Loco Barrera evade authorities in Venezuela, aiding his movements around the country and lending him their names for hotel reservations, according to prosecutors.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to La Verdad, Fernandez is not the only Venezuelan model to be sought by authorities for ties to organized crime in recent months. In the two weeks prior to her arrest, authorities detained model Karla Osuna transporting several kilos of cocaine in her car, and issued an arrest warrant for model and TV actress Jimena Araya for allegedly assisting in the escape of prison gang boss Hector Jose Guerrero Flores, alias “Niño Guerrero,” from a prison in northern Venezuela. 

The cases are reminiscent of that of Colombian lingerie model Angie Sanclemente, who was arrested in 2010 for allegedly recruiting young women to smuggle cocaine out of Buenos Aires.

It is not known how Loco Barrera -- who had spent some time in Venezuela before his arrest -- came to meet Fernandez, but her work to help him evade the authorities is illustrative of how high-profile women can be used to provide cover for criminal networks.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 31 OCT 2018

A growth in cattle smuggling from Venezuela to Colombia with participation from criminal organizations could be the result of heavy-handed…

HOMICIDES / 25 AUG 2011

According to an NGO that tracks violence in Venezuela, the country is on track to register 60 homicides…

COLOMBIA / 27 JAN 2016

Venezuela's capital city of Caracas has reportedly overtaken Honduras' San Pedro Sula to become the most violent city in the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.