Colombia Extradites Arrested Drug Lord to the US

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Colombian drug lord Dairo Antonio Usaga, better known as Otoniel, will be extradited to the United States. He was arrested after a major manhunt last weekend and is suspected of drug smuggling, murder, kidnapping and extortion.

 

Otoniël is the largest cocaine dealer in South America and was on the most wanted list of the United States.

Colombia plans to extradite Dairo Antonio Usuga, “the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world”, to the United States. He is wanted on suspicion of drug trafficking, murder and human smuggling. On his head was a sum of 5 million dollars.

Usuga, better known as Otoniel, was captured by Colombian forces on Saturday during a major operation in the jungles of Colombia’s Uraba region. More than 500 members of Colombia’s special forces and 22 helicopters were involved in the raid. At least one agent was killed.

Otoniel is accused of exporting hundreds of tons of cocaine a year and has been on the anti-drugs agency DEA’s wanted list for years. The United States first indicted Otoniel in 2009, and additional charges were filed in 2015.
Otoniel was the leader of the Clan del Golfo drug cartel, which operates in 12 of Colombia’s 32 provinces and has some 3,800 members, according to information from Colombia’s National Police. The Clan del Golfo is also involved in illegal mining, and the government accuses the group of causing terror and destruction across the country.

According to General Jorge Vargas, the Colombian police chief, much of the information that led to Otoniel’s arrest came from other members of the cartel. “Many people of the Clan del Golfo have betrayed him,” Vargas said.

Otoniel traded up to 200 tons of cocaine a year with the Clan del Golfo and is responsible for the deaths of more than 200 members of Colombia’s security forces, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Striking: the entire arrest has gained momentum after a visit to Colombia last week by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. According to Colombian authorities, the extradition process of Otoniel to the US is expected to take a month.

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