Alleged drug lord sheltered Cabanas’ assailant
An alleged drug lord being held by Mexican authorities says that
for three months he hid the fugitive wanted in the shooting seven
months ago of Paraguay footballer Salvador Cabanas.
Edgar Valdez Villarreal, known as ”La Barbie,” said in a
transcript released by authorities that he sheltered Jose Jorge
Balderas, who is the prime suspect in the shooting of Cabanas on
Jan. 25 at a bar in Mexico City. Balderas remains at large.
Born in the border city of Laredo, Texas, Valdez was captured
Monday and authorities say he is responsible for dozens of murders
and drug-related violence.
Valdez said he scolded Balderas – one of his henchmen – over the
”They were friends those two,” Valdez said. ”But that day
Cabanas was in a bad mood and they started to argue.”
Valdez said he hid Balderas on the outskirts of Mexico City. He
said he did not know the current whereabouts of Balderas.
Valdez, who got his improbable nickname from his fair
complexion, is wanted in the United States for allegedly smuggling
tons of cocaine. In Mexico, he is blamed for a brutal turf war that
has included bodies hung from bridges, decapitations and shootouts
as he and a rival fought for control of the divided Beltran Leyva
Cabanas survived the point-blank shooting in the head and still
has a small bullet fragment lodged in his skull. Surgeons said at
the time it was too dangerous to try to remove it.
Cabanas has been recovering in a Buenos Aires rehabilitation
center and has regained much of his mobility. He played for Mexico
club America and was to have starred in Paraguay’s 2010 World Cup
team in South Africa.
He has no memory of the shooting and told a judge last month
that he does not know why he was attacked. Witnesses have said
Cabanas and Balderas got into an argument when Balderas questioned
the Paraguayan’s performances for his club.