Dairo Antonio Úsuga captured by Colombian security forces : NPR

Sadye Matula

In this photograph produced by the Colombian presidential press business, a person of the country’s most needed drug traffickers, Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” chief of the violent Clan del Golfo cartel, is presented to the media at a military services foundation in Necocli, Colombia, Saturday, Oct. 23. AP disguise […]

In this photograph produced by the Colombian presidential press business, a person of the country’s most needed drug traffickers, Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” chief of the violent Clan del Golfo cartel, is presented to the media at a military services foundation in Necocli, Colombia, Saturday, Oct. 23.

AP


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AP


In this picture unveiled by the Colombian presidential push workplace, 1 of the country’s most wanted drug traffickers, Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” chief of the violent Clan del Golfo cartel, is presented to the media at a armed forces foundation in Necocli, Colombia, Saturday, Oct. 23.

AP

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombian safety forces have captured the country’s most desired drug trafficker, a rural warlord who stayed on the operate for far more than a 10 years by corrupting state officers and aligning himself with combatants on the remaining and proper.

President Iván Duque likened the arrest Saturday of Dairo Antonio Úsuga to the capture three a long time back of Pablo Escobar.

Colombia’s armed service presented Úsuga to the media in handcuffs and putting on rubber boots most popular by rural farmers.

Úsuga, far better regarded by his alias Otoniel, is the alleged head of the a lot-feared Gulf Clan, whose army of assassins has terrorized substantially of northern Colombia to obtain control of significant cocaine smuggling routes via thick jungles north to Central America and onto the U.S.

He is lengthy been a fixture on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-needed fugitives record, for whose seize it had been giving a $5 million reward. He was 1st indicted in 2009, in Manhattan federal court, on narcotics fees and for allegedly supplying guidance to a significantly-correct paramilitary group specified a terrorist corporation by the U.S. authorities. Later indictments in Brooklyn and Miami federal courts accused him of importing into the U.S. at least 73 metric tons of cocaine among 2003 and 2014 by international locations including Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, and Honduras.

But like a lot of of his gunmen, he’s also cycled via the ranks of several guerrilla teams, most lately saying to direct the Gaitanist Self Defense Forces of Colombia, after a mid-20th century Colombian leftist firebrand.

Authorities mentioned intelligence furnished by the U.S. and U.K. led additional than 500 soldiers and customers of Colombia’s exclusive forces to Úsuga’s jungle hideout, which was safeguarded by an eight rings of security.

Úsuga for a long time flew less than the radar of authorities by eschewing the substantial profile of Colombia’s much better acknowledged narcos.

He and his brother, who was killed in a raid in 2012, bought their commence as gunmen for the now-defunct leftist guerrilla team regarded as the Popular Liberation Army and then later on switched sides and joined the rebels’ battlefield enemies, a suitable-wing paramilitary team.

He refused to disarm when that militia signed a peace treaty with the authorities in 2006, alternatively delving deeper into Colombia’s prison underworld and environment up operations in the strategic Gulf of Uraba location in northern Colombia, a significant drug corridor surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean sea on possibly aspect.

Leaks and a community of rural harmless residences he supposedly moved among every single evening authorized him for years to resist a scorched-earth campaign by the army from the Gulf Clan. As he defied authorities, his legend as a bandit grew along with the horror stories told by Colombian authorities of the many underage ladies he and his cohorts allegedly abused sexually.

But the war was having its toll on the 50-12 months-previous fugitive, who even though on the run insisted on sleeping on orthopedic mattresses to simplicity a back again injury. In 2017, he confirmed his face for the first time on situation of Pope Francis’ stop by to the state, publishing a video clip in which he requested for his group be authorized to lay down its weapons and demobilize as component of the country’s peace procedure with the substantially-much larger Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.

His arrest is a little something of a raise for the conservative Duque, who regulation and purchase rhetoric has been no match for soaring generation of cocaine.

Land committed to the manufacturing of coca — the raw ingredient of cocaine — jumped 16{9de171ac33798fde3a622e76ef171e611288570f03f7c8486a1f69f819b8175a} past 12 months to a file 245,000 hectares, a degree unseen in two decades of U.S. eradication efforts, in accordance to a White Property report.

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