Yovanna Guzman: Love and Luxuries with Columbian Drug Lords

How Far Will You Go?

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/damselfly58/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/damselfly58/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

How far will some women go to get the luxurious materials in life? Would they go through great sacrifice just to get dazzling diamonds and fancy cars? In this tale of love and money, a woman shares her story after living the past eight years of her life with one of the most notorious drug lords in Columbia, Wilber Varela.

The Beauty and the Beast

Yovanna Guzman, a former beauty queen and model, says she was only 19 when she met Wilber Varela, who she says claimed to be a wealthy cattle rancher at the time. It was not until she saw a Wanted poster with a mug shot of Varela that she found out the truth about her lover. He wooed her with expensive gifts, luxurious apartments, and multiple vacation trips around the world. Guzman was given nothing but the finest things drug money or any amount of personal loans can buy.

Wilber Varela, a former police agent who went and sought a life in the drug trafficking world, became one of the most brutal cocaine traffickers. He was head of the North Valle Cartel, one of the most powerful drug cartels in the industry.

“He had two faces. I saw him so tender with the ones he loved, then you see the cartel killings. He always said he was the best of friends and the worst of enemies,” Guzman said in a recent interview with CNN.

Police authorities accused Varela of distributing large supplies of cocaine to the United States using speedboats and employed jet planes to send business to Europe. According to a RICO indictment issued in the District Court of the District of Columbia, Varela and his thugs exported approximately 500 metric tons of cocaine worth in excess of $10 billion from Colombia to the US between 1990 and 2004, according to Wikipedia.

The Real Wilber Varela

Yovanna Guzman had all the finest things drug money can buy. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Yovanna Guzman had all the finest things drug money can buy. (Photo: Wikimedia.org)

Young and beautiful, Yovanna Guzman was “dazzled” by all the fancy gifts Varela showered her with. Who needs personal loans when you are the prized jewel of a wealthy mobster? Materially, she had everything she needed, thanks to her infamous drug king lover. But after the party was over and reality settled in, the perfect dream come true turned into a living nightmare.

“Of course, the luxuries don’t make you fall in love, but they do dazzle you. When you get dazzled, you get carried away, but then you ask yourself where is the love and my principles?”

It was not long before Wilber Varela decided to lock his beautiful possession away from the world. According to the CNN news report, Yovanna Guzman was no longer allowed to model and associate with any male friends, despite the fact he catered to a number of female companions throughout their relationship. She belonged to him and no one else. Guzman said that Varela’s jealousy became so bitter and strong to the point he even ordered one of his lieutenants to shoot her in the leg.

“When I got shot, I was supposedly never going to walk properly again. The bullet could easily have hit me somewhere else and killed me. But I pulled myself together and I said I’m not going to be crippled,” she said.

A Fallen Villain – Rise of a New Story

Wilber Varela aka Jabón (“Soap”) died last year, slain by the hands of an inside man who hungered for the same power and riches.

“[When I heard the news], I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad. Varela had his good side, but my freedom doesn’t have a price,” she said. “I felt the golden cage had been flung open, and I could fly again.”

Yovanna Guzman is currently writing a book detailing the events that took place in the dangerous love affair that is now capitalizing headlines. She hopes to share her experience with other young women in search of easy money. Whether or not her new life will require personal loans is another story.

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