US Court Awards $73 MILLION – Here’s Why

Venezuela's Cartel of the Suns Ordered To Pay Family of Activist

Family of Deceased Activist Awarded Massive Sum in Venezuela

( – In 2018, Venezuelan authorities arrested activist Fernando Albán upon his arrival in Caracas. When police said he died by suicide a few days later, many people concluded that the government paid people to murder Albán, pointing out that he died in their custody. Now, a US judge has levied a judgment awarding the deceased man’s family over $70 million.

Initially, authorities detained Albán due to accusations that he attempted to assassinate President Nicolás Maduro. They later reported that he jumped from the 10th floor of an intelligence agency building after asking to use the restroom. According to the BBC, Albán was a prominent figure in the opposition First Justice party, and many within the party never believed he took his own life.

On September 16, a Miami-based federal judge ruled that the “Cartel of the Suns” owes $73 million to Albán’s family. According to the Associated Press, Judge Darrin Gayles called the incident a “murder for hire” and noted that President Nicolás Maduro paid the killers, whom he named the “Maduro Criminal Enterprise.”

While this amount of money is significant, there’s no clear path for the plaintiffs to collect it. According to AP, Maduro and his Cabinet have no reason to step down from power and deliver themselves to the US government. Retired Army General Cliver Alcalá Cordones is a cartel leader in US custody, but he’s apparently unable even to pay for his attorney, thus likely making him unable to pay any part of the $73 million.

Allegedly, high-ranking military personnel answering to Maduro in Venezuela control the Cartel of the Suns, or Cartel de los Soles, responsible for the global trafficking and distribution of cocaine from Colombia, primarily obtained from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

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