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Colombia prepares the extradition of drug trafficker Otoniel to the United States

German Centeno
4 min read
Colombia prepares the extradition of drug trafficker Otoniel to the United States
Otoniel will be extradited to the United States

The Colombian government announced this Sunday that it would work on the extradition of drug trafficker Otoniel to the United States, who was considered the head of the largest drug trafficking gang in the entire country and who has been captured through a mega operation in the northwest from the country.

In said operation, a police officer was killed, being the only fatality of this fact. An extradition order to the United States already weighs against this drug trafficker, this will be the order that will continue to be in progress and in which both countries will work, as announced by the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano.

During his statements to the media, Molano added the following: "That is the path that awaits all those who commit transnational crimes, around 30% of the total tons of coca that were taken from Colombia belonged to the Gulf Clan, commanded by Otoniel ".

Time of arrest

Colombia prepares the extradition of drug trafficker Otoniel to the United States
At least 700 soldiers participated in the arrest of Otoniel

The 50-year-old drug trafficker was arrested in an operation involving around 700 soldiers and 18 helicopters this Saturday in a jungle area in northwestern Colombia. After a lengthy investigation into his whereabouts, the authorities managed to reach him.

The United States, who requested it for drug trafficking, offered a sum of 5 million dollars to know his whereabouts, now the Americans only have to wait for Otoniel to be put on a plane and sent to them to carry out the crimes committed.

"The arrest of Dairo Antonio Úsuga alisas Otoniel, has become the hardest and most important blow of this century for drug trafficking, but this will not end here", assured the President of Colombia, Iván Duque during the tribute to the policeman who died during the operational.

"We are going for more, we are going for victory against all objectives of great importance," added the Colombian president from a military base in the municipality of Carepa.

Other objectives of the Colombian government

Colombia prepares the extradition of drug trafficker Otoniel to the United States
Drug traffickers are the first target of the Government of Colombia

The Colombian government accuses other armed groups of committing a crime in the country, such as the National Liberation Army (ELN), who are the last recognized guerrilla in Colombia and all the rebels who departed from the peace pact signed with the FARD in 2016 to be financed thanks to drug trafficking.

This is how the leaders of both criminal organizations are included in a list of high value targets for the Colombian authorities, who try to battle with these groups and thus end the rates of violence, kidnapping and organ trafficking in the country.

Who was Otoniel?

Colombia prepares the extradition of drug trafficker Otoniel to the United States
Otoniel, the largest drug trafficker in Colombia

Born into a peasant family in northwestern Colombia, Úsuga, better known as Otoniel, was a guerrilla and paramilitary before becoming the boss of an organization when his brother died during an operation, so he would be left alone in command.

His organization is believed to have around 3,500 men and a presence in at least 300 municipalities, this according to research by the independent study center Indepaz.

In Colombia, he had 128 arrest warrants for the recruitment of minors, murders, drug trafficking and other crimes that are accused of him. This is how President Duque pointed out the following: "He murdered more than 200 members of the public force, many soldiers have suffered from the murder of their comrades."

"He had a reputation in the region for looking for girls between 12 and 15 years old. He intimidated families and extorted them in order to have the virginities of his daughters", the president denounced.

There were five decades of anti-drug struggle alongside the United States, where Colombia had managed to kill and capture various layers of the drug, including the country's most important cocaine baron and drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar in 1993 when he was shot by the public force.

However, Colombia continues to be considered the main producer of cocaine in the world, while the Americans are the largest buyers of this drug. Reason why both countries work together to dismantle all these criminal organizations.