Colombia has received a request from the United States to hand over “Otoniel”, a powerful drug lord captured in October, and is only awaiting judicial authorization for his extradition, South American President Ivan announced Thursday. Duque. “The government has received the official US request for the extradition of ‘Otoniel'” and it has been forwarded to the Supreme Court of Justice, he told reporters.
Colombia’s most wanted drug trafficker, the world’s largest producer of cocaine, Clan del Golfo leader Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel”, was arrested on 23 October in northwestern Colombia during a major military operation . The United States had offered a five million dollar reward. Indicted by the American courts in 2009, he is notably the subject of extradition proceedings before the courts of New York and Miami. The Colombian government hopes “Ensure the speed of this process and proceed with the extradition of this dangerous criminal”, added Ivan Duque, according to which “Nearly 30% of the total” cocaine having left the country “Belonged to the Clan del Golfo”.
Coming from a peasant family in northwestern Colombia, Usuga was a guerrilla and paramilitary before heading up a drug trafficking organization of around 1,600 men. He took over as head of the Clan del Golfo from his brother, Juan de Dios alias “Giovanni”, who died in a clash with the police in 2012. In 2017, Otoniel announced his intention to reach an agreement to surrender. to justice. The government responded by deploying no less than 1,000 troops to hunt him down in the jungle.
The fall of “Otoniel” represents the main success of the government of the Conservative President in its fight against organized crime. In five decades of the war on drugs backed by the United States, Colombia has killed or captured several drug lords, including Pablo Escobar, shot dead by law enforcement in 1993. However, the country remains the leading producer. world cocaine and the United States the largest buyer, while trafficking-related violence continues.