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World Colombia prepares to extradite drug lord 'Otoniel' to US

05:50  25 october  2021
05:50  25 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

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Colombia 's Defence Minister Diego Molano told El Tiempo newspaper that the next step for officials was to comply with the US extradition order. Authorities have now taken Otoniel to a military base in the capital Bogotá ahead of his extradition , according to newspaper El Nuevo Siglo. President Iván Duque hailed the drug lord 's capture in a televised video message. "This is the biggest blow against drug trafficking in our country this century," he said. "This blow is only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s."

Colombian Police/Handout via REUTERS. NECOCLI, Colombia , Oct 24 (Reuters) - The man Colombia describes as the world's most dangerous drug trafficker told security forces: "You beat me" when he was captured during an operation this weekend, the government said on Sunday, pledging to extradite him swiftly to the United States . Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel , was caught by Colombia 's armed forces during an operation in a rural area of Colombia 's Uraba region, Antioquia province, which involved more than 500 members of Colombia 's special forces and 22 helicopters

Colombia's government announced Sunday it is working towards extraditing the country's most-wanted drug trafficker "Otoniel" to the United States, a day after he was captured in a major operation in the jungle.

Colombia's most-wanted drug lord and head of the Gulf Clan, Dairo Antonio Usuga, is seen in Bogota after his capture, in a photo released by the Colombian Police on October 24, 2021 © - Colombia's most-wanted drug lord and head of the Gulf Clan, Dairo Antonio Usuga, is seen in Bogota after his capture, in a photo released by the Colombian Police on October 24, 2021

"There is an extradition order against Otoniel, and this extradition order... remains in progress," Defense Minister Diego Molano told the daily El Tiempo newspaper in an interview.

"This is the path for all those who commit transnational crimes," Molano told reporters later, adding that nearly 30 percent of the many tons of cocaine exported from Colombia went through the so-called Gulf Clan, the country's largest drug trafficking gang, led by Otoniel.

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Colombia plans to extradite the man it calls the world’s most dangerous drug trafficker to the United States where he is wanted on a number of charges. The raid involved more than 500 members of Colombia ’s special forces and 22 helicopters. Colombia ’s government will file a petition on Monday with the Andean country’s Supreme Court to extradite Otoniel to the United States , Justice Minister Wilson Ruiz told the Reuters news agency on Sunday, adding the process could take four weeks to complete.

Colombia 's most-wanted drug lord has been captured by authorities in what has been heralded as the biggest blow to the country's narcotics traffickers in decades. © Colombia Presidents Office Dairo Antonio Usuga, who worked under the alias " Otoniel ," has been detained by Colombian authorities. Colombia 's President Iván Duque Márquez confirmed the capture of Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as " Otoniel ," in a televised national address Saturday. Load Error.

The 50-year-old drug lord, whose real name is Dairo Antonio Usuga, was arrested Saturday in northwest Colombia's dense jungle in an operation involving some 700 uniformed agents backed by 18 helicopters, according to the army.

The United States had offered a $5 million bounty for information leading to the arrest of Otoniel, one of the most feared men in Colombia.

"This is the hardest strike to drug trafficking in our country this century," President Ivan Duque said Saturday, adding that the arrest was "only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar," the notorious Colombian narco-trafficking kingpin.

"We are going for more, we are going for victory against all high-value targets," Duque vowed from a military base in the country's northwest.

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Colombian special forces have captured notorious drug trafficker Dairo Antonio Usuga, known as Otoniel , during a massive operation on Saturday. The alleged boss of the much-feared Gulf Clan had been on the run for over a decade. The force was so overwhelming that even eight rings of security couldn’t save the drug lord from arrest this time. The operation, in which one police officer lost his life, was carried out based on intelligence provided by the US and UK, according to the authorities. Later on Saturday, a handcuffed Otoniel was presented to the media, surrounded by armed troops in full gear.

Colombia don capture Otoniel , di most wanted drug trafficker and leader of di kontri largest criminal gang. Authorities for different kontries don arrest di gang members as far away as Argentina, Brazil, Honduras, Peru and Spain. Di gang dey control many of di routes wey dem dey use to smuggle drugs from Colombia to di US and as far away as Russia. Colombian goment, however, believe say dem don take down di numbers of pipo inside di gang in recent years, forcing many leading members to hide for remote regions inside di jungle.

The government accuses other armed groups such as the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), and rebels who walked away from the peace pact signed with the FARC guerillas in 2016, of financing themselves with drug trafficking revenue.

Born to a poor family, Otoniel joined the EPL, a Marxist guerrilla group that demobilized in 1991. A paramilitary fighter, he ultimately headed the Gulf Clan, with a force of some 1,600 men and a presence in almost 300 municipalities nationwide, according to the independent think tank Indepaz.

In Colombia Otoniel had 128 outstanding arrest warrants for drug trafficking and recruitment of minors, among other crimes.

"He murdered more than 200 members of the security forces... Many soldiers have suffered because of this murderer and his friends," Duque said.

Otoniel also preyed on minors, "intimidating families and extorting them in order to take their daughters' virginity," the president added.

In five decades of a US-backed drug war, Colombia has killed or captured several drug lords, including kingpin Escobar, who was shot by security forces in 1993.

But the country remains the world's leading cocaine producer, with the United States its biggest buyer.

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Colombia: 180 soldiers selected Two days by Coca .
Farmers © AFP - Schneyser Mendoza Peasants near Colombian soldiers after their release in the municipality of Tibu, in the Norte de Santander department, in Colombia, at the border With Venezuela, October 28, 2021. hundred eighty soldiers responsible for eradicating Coca plantations and who were selected since Tuesday by disgruntled farmers in the east of Colombia were released, announced on Thursday, October 28, the Office of the People's Defender.

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This is interesting!