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Wilber Varela

I’m sure you’ve heard from Milton Jiménez aka “El Cabo”, a super famous character in the series “The Snitch Cartel”. Well, the real name of this drug lord is Wilber Varela and here I bring you his story.

Wilber VarelaWilber Arilio Varela Fajardo, aka Jabón (Soap) was born in Roldanillo, Colombia, on November 6, 1957. He was one of the security chiefs of the cartels who ended up taking control, either of the organizations for which they worked or of the new ones that were founded as a result of schisms in the original derivatives of conflicts over the control of the business following the death of their leaders or their extradition to the United States.

This lineage of subjects pulled the trigger incessantly in order to remove any that became an obstacle to achieve both personal and organizational objectives that were drawn.

Varela was one of the most powerful druglords that Colombia had, nobody dared to go to war against him, until Diego Montoya came to change that.

Jabón died on November 30, 2008, at the hands of his own men, however, his death is surrounded by much mystery.

¿How was the Personality of Wilber Varela?

He was a country man, humble and who did not like to brag. Of course, he never lacked a ring, a good watch on his wrist and sometimes a gold chain with a crucifix, but nothing else. His favorite food was the fish and chicken soup.

His manners left much to be desired and he usually used rude language. He always carried something in his mouth, even once a lighter exploded and almost burned his lip.

He was a man of cold blood and an unscrupulous murderer who had an army of mercenaries willing to carry out his orders to the letter. It is said that the number of deaths left by Varela in his path exceeds one thousand, among which are important druglords such as Pacho Herrera, Julio Fierro and Miguel Solano.

His properties were not like those of the rest of the druglords, all full of luxuries and eccentricities with things made of gold or ivory. In them, you could see fine woods everywhere and large lakes with fish and other animals, especially horses and dogs.

¿Why was Wilber Varela nicknamed Jabón (soap)?

Wilber Arilio, was known as “Soap”, not because of his effectiveness in erasing his rivals from the surface of the earth; but by the coincidence of his surname with a popular brand of soap widely used in Colombian homes to wash clothes called “Soap Barrigón Varela

Wilber Alirio Varela

At some point, it was thought that due to the enormous amount of resources owned by Wilber Arilio, in addition to his experience in money laundering, he was the owner of that brand which was repeatedly denied by people who were related to that area of ​​business.

Some also say that his nickname is due to how elusive he was, having escaped hundreds of times from the hands of the authorities.

The Sentimental Life of Wilber Alirio Varela

About his love life, it is known that from his first marriage he had two children, and one of them, Wilber Felipe Varela Camacho, aged 20, was murdered on March 20, 2009.

He also had a relationship with the model Yovanna Guzmán whom he met in a modeling contest called “med girl” and with whom he had a son.

To pick up them, the drug lord used the countless sums of money he owned. Rolex, Cartier watches, diamond rings and trips were some of the gifts that Varela gave to the women he wanted to be part of his harem.

Yovanna says that she had no idea that Varela was a drug trafficker since he introduced himself as Orlando Garavito and told him he was a rancher.

Yovanna Guzmán
Yovanna Guzmán

With his women Varela acted in a Machiavellian, jealous, paranoid and possessive way, he was their owners and absolutely nobody else could touch them.

On one occasion, he received the information that Yovanna was receiving high sums of money from some men to sleep with them, the angry narco ordered someone to shoot her in the column to make her invalid, luckily the shot went to her leg and the model was able to recover. It should be noted that the information that Varela had received about the woman was false.

On another occasion when Yovanna had already cut off all kinds of relationships with the narco and had a relationship with another man who was also a model, Varela showing off the bloodthirsty man he was, sent someone to kill him simply for having a relationship with his ex-wife.

¿How did Wilber Varela start in drug trafficking?

His only known decent job and about which there is no evidence that he has done it was to be an agent of the Colombian National Police, an institution in which he achieved the rank of Sergeant, although one of his most trusted service employees tells that the drug lord simply got some fake papers and told everyone he had been a policeman.

Later he entered the business of production, distribution, sale of drugs and their subsequent laundered under the hand of Andrés López López aka “Florecita (little flower)” who employed him in one of his laboratories for the production of narcotics at the beginning of the turbulent decade of the 90s.

Later he got a better job by joining the Rodríguez Orejuela payroll in the Cali Cartel, occupying a multifunctional position when he was in charge of security, collections, ending defaulters and anyone who did not cooperate with operations of the organization.

A problem with the Orejuela brothers forced him to retire and he became part of the ranks of Orlando Henao Montoya in security and extermination, tasks in which he already had an exuberant experience.

From Hitman to Drug Lord

Varela continued with his work as Henao´s most trusted man, However, the unexpected circumstances forced the man to take responsibility and the narco had no choice but to take the reins of the cartel due to the murder of his mentor, also known as “The man in overalls “at the hands of José Manuel Herrera aka “The invalid “who decided to kill him for revenge for having ordered the death of his brother Pacho.

It was so big the power that Varela achieved that according to some information at one point in his life, out of 100% of the cocaine that entered the United States, 70% had the seal of quality of “Jabón”.

Wilber Varela is victim of an attempt by Pacho Herrera

On November 23, 1997, Varela would be one step away from this world when hit men in the service of Pacho Herrera attempted against his life. Herrera, taking advantage of the fact that the maximum leader of the North Valley Cartel for that moment Orlando Henao had submitted to the authorities, attempted against the life of his most loyal man.

Varela moved in a Renault 18 with level 3 armor with his men when suddenly three vehicles reached the Renault and pulling their weapons through the windows proceeded to open fire against the car of the narco, wounding him in the stomach.

Aka Jabón

What the aggressors did not count on was that behind the Renault came a Toyota vehicle with more of Varela´s men, who when they noticed the incident proceeded to open fire against Pacho’s assassins, getting them out of the way.

In total five men lost their lives in the event, three men from Varela and two from Pacho’s assassins. The wounds caused to Varela in the stomach were not fatal and he survived.

Wilber and company managed to capture two of the assassins and after torturing them, they confessed that the attack had been ordered by Pacho Herrera and a man called Juan Carlos Velasco aka “Trompa de Marrano”.

Varela ends with the Clan Herrera

After Pacho’s brother murdered his employer, Varela became enraged and did not rest until he wipes out the clan Herrera or “Los Pachos” as they were also known from the face of the earth.

He dedicated to end the life of any subject who carried in his identification the last name Herrera. Man of little thought, but a lot of action, he is accused of the intellectual authorship of the death of four members of that family, as well as the harassment of other members of the clan, which led them to flee abroad, and not satified with it, he forcibly took many of their properties.

Wilber Varela vs The Rodríguez Orejuela Brothers

Jabón hated the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers, especially Gilberto since he had given the order to exterminate him because Varela had killed a man close to the brothers during the war between the Cali Cartel and the Medellín Cartel.

In the end, Henao convinced Gilberto not to do anything against Varela and this one spared his life, but the hatred of this one did not disappear, even in many opportunities William Rodriguez had to attend meetings with the heads of North Valley to clarify rumors started by Varela that the Orejuela brothers wanted to kill them.

Varela even traveled to the United States on one occasion, under the protection of agent Edward Kaserosky, the same agent that William Rodriguez turned in himself in Panama, in order to offer evidence that accused the Orejuela brothers of continuing to commit crimes from prison. In the end, not everything went as planned and Varela had to return quickly to Colombia to avoid being arrested in Miami by agents of the DEA.

¿How does the War between Varela and Diego Montoya begin?

After the death of Iván Urdinola Grajales, his widow Lorena Henao communicates with Miguel Solano to collect money that he apparently owed to her late husband, Solano says that he owes nothing to anyone and that it was Ivan instead who owed him money but he told Lorena no to worry about it as he does not need it.

Without knowing what to do, Lorena communicates with Varela to ask for his help, later Varela communicates with Solano to ask him about the money. Solano responds in the same way, saying that he does not owe anything to anyone and that he will not pay anything. From that moment, Varela feeling offended by Miguel Solano declares him a military target.

Varela would not rest until the end of Solano’s life. After several failed attempts, Jabón manages to infiltrate José Manuel Puello aka Chepe Puello, Solano’s best friend and he turned him in at a nightclub in Cartagena. Varela’s men entered the nightclub and shot Miguel Solano to death.

The murder of his great friend Miguel Solano and the arbitrary way that “Soap” had to deprive the victims of his actions of their properties was what provoked the wrath of Diego Montoya aka Don Diego and thus he declared the war to Varela.

Wilber Varela vs Diego Montoya

The war between these two was a film thing, a war that left a balance of approximately 3000 men from both sides without life. Varela, with the support of former colonel Danilo González, wanted to end Montoya once and for all.

The former colonel managed to locate the drug lord on a farm by the Magdalena medio, immediately he started an operation with Varela’s men and members of the security forces to capture the narco, but Don Diego was not an easy man to surprise since before to settle down somewhere like this even for a short time, he studied all the escape routes possible, and this time it was no exception.

Diego Montoya vs Varela
Diego Montoya vs Varela

Despite the great effort of the Varela´s men, Montoya managed to escape with his trusted man Ómar García aka Capachivo, however, family members of the drug lord including his brother and nephew who were in charge of the financial and logistical apparatus were imprisoned by a police command that was outside the farm. In spite of not being able to dismiss Don Diego, Varela was happy, as he had given a hard blow to the organization of his archenemy.

In retaliation for what happened, Montoya ordered the murder of Danilo González, a fact that arose on March 25, 2004. This represented a blow to Varela because the former colonel was one of his most important allies.

The Cybernetic War

But not everything was shot and killed in this war. Wilber Varela taking advantage of the technology ordered to create a website called that he used to publicly denounced Diego Montoya. In turn, Montoya would do the same, launching his website called where he publicly denounced the crimes committed by Varela.

Wilber Varela web site
This is the way it looked the web site that Varela created about Montoya

Anyone had access to this information and could read about all the crimes committed by both employers.

The War Scale Level

The war continued with more casualties on both sides. Varela and Montoya realized that it was time to press the accelerator so both decided to create a super army to kill the other.

Varela armed peasants and coffee gatherers and instructed them militarily through former army officers. In total, there were 700 men who were under the tutelage of Diego Restrepo and who called themselves “Popular Peasant Rounds” or simply “Los Rastrojos”.

On the other hand Montoya did the same thing that his enemy and he armed a total of 3000 men whom he nicknamed “United Self Defense of the Valley” or as they would also be known “Los Machos”

For a long time these groups faced death, but without any damage to the main leaders. Varela also had the support of Carlos Mario Jiménez aka Macaco, a powerful paramilitary who was in charge of training men for the narco.

By the year 2005, Montoya had a clear advantage in the war and Varela decided to take refuge in Venezuela to reorganize his battered organization that had suffered significant casualties. There, the narco had access to a false identification and to a journalist’s card that he used to move freely.

Varela decides to stop the war and offers to Montoya a peace agreement. Montoya received the proposal with good eyes since this absurd war had simply left thousands of dead men on both sides including direct relatives of the drug lords, besides having spent an approximate of 150 million dollars. After many meetings and conditions, finally both leaders managed to reach an agreement.

Despite this peace agreement, there was still the odd confrontation between members of both organizations, but nothing compared to the previous experience.

¿How did Wilber Varela die?

Varela had gone to live in the neighboring country in search of some peace. There, he decided to settle in the city of Merida, where he lived the extortion of authorities of security forces who knew his background and extorted money in exchange for not denouncing him, capture him and hand him over to his counterparts in Colombia who actively requested him by setting a price of 5 million dollars to information that led to his capture.

And it is precisely in that city where the drug lord would see his end as in an operation started by his deputies Javier Antonio Calle Serna aka “Comba” or “combatiente” and Diego Perez Henao aka “Diego Rastrojo”, both very interested in taking control of the Distribution routes of alkaloids, he would be killed in a complex of luxury cabins on January 30, 2008.

Wilber Varela death
Wilber Varela death

In principle, it was thought that the fact was part of a plan to simulate his murder, since Varela had long ago simulated his death by murdering a man very similar physically to him, but then the authorities were able to prove that it was someone else.

However, DNA tests confirmed his identity. In addition, the authorities asked his ex-wife Yovanna Guzmán to identify the body through photographs that they showed her.

The woman could assure that he was Varela through different physical features that she recognized, like a scar on his abdomen, his mutilated phalanx on the index finger of his left hand and something as peculiar as his penis.

However, there are those who today think that this was not the real Wilber Varela and that currently the narco is still alive enjoying his life quietly in an unknown place.

Wilber Varela and Television

Varela appears in different television series. In the “Snitch Cartel” and in “the Lord of the skies” appears under the name of Milton Jimenez aka “El Cabo” and the actor that gives life to the character is called Robinson Diaz.