Colombia’s Most Wanted Drug Lord Caught in Jungle Raid – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Colombian security forces have captured the nation’s most wanted drug trafficker, a rural warlord who remained on the run for larger than a decade by corrupting state officers and turning into a member of fighters on the left and correct.
President Iván Duque in distinction the arrest of Dairo Antonio Úsuga on Saturday to the arrest of Pablo Escobar three a few years previously.
The Colombian army supplied Úsuga to the media in handcuffs and rubber boots most popular with rural farmers.
Úsuga, increased recognized by his alias Otoniel, is the alleged head of the dreaded Gulf Clan, whose army of assassins has terrorized a number of northern Colombia to attain administration of primary cocaine smuggling routes by dense jungles north to Central America and to the USA
He has prolonged been a fixture on the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s Most Wished Fugitives guidelines, for whose arrest he had offered a $5 million reward. He was first indicted in 2009 in Manhattan federal courtroom on narcotics costs and for allegedly aiding a far-right paramilitary group designated by the US authorities as a terrorist group. Subsequent costs inside the federal courts of Brooklyn and Miami accused him of getting imported a minimal of 73 tons of cocaine into the US between 2003 and 2014 by worldwide areas equal to Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Honduras.
Nevertheless like a number of his gunmen, he moreover cycled by the ranks of various guerrilla groups, most currently claiming to information Colombia’s Gaitanist self-defense forces, following a mid-Twentieth century Colombian left-wing mannequin.
Authorities said US and UK intelligence led larger than 500 troopers and members of Colombia’s explicit forces to Úsuga’s jungle hideout, which was protected by eight security rings.
Úsuga stayed beneath the radar of authorities for years, avoiding the extreme profile of Colombia’s better-known narcos.
He and his brother, who had been killed in a raid in 2012, started out as gunmen for the now-defunct left-wing guerrilla group typically generally known as the People’s Liberation Navy and later switched sides and joined the rebels’ enemies, a right-wing paramilitary group.
He refused to disarm when that militia signed a peace treaty with the federal authorities in 2006, instead delving deeper into Colombia’s felony underworld and organising operations inside the strategic Gulf of Uraba in northern Colombia, a major drug corridor surrounded by the Pacific and Caribbean seas on each aspect.
Leaks and a neighborhood of rural hideouts that he supposedly went to every night allowed him to face up to a scorched-earth advertising and marketing marketing campaign by the navy in direction of the Gulf clan for years. As he defied authorities, his legend as a bandit grew alongside the horror tales suggested by Colombian authorities regarding the many underage girls he and his cohorts allegedly sexually abused.
Nevertheless the battle took its toll on the 50-year-old fugitive, who insisted even all through his flight on sleeping on orthopedic mattresses to alleviate a once more hurt. In 2017, he first confirmed his face on the occasion of Pope Francis’ go to to the nation, publishing a video asking if his group could lay down arms and demobilize as part of the nation’s peace course of with the varied Colombia’s larger revolutionary forces.
His arrest is a type of improve for conservative Duque, whose rhetoric has been no match for hovering cocaine manufacturing.
In response to a White Dwelling report, land earmarked for the manufacturing of coca — the raw ingredient of cocaine — jumped 16% closing 12 months to a file 245,000 acres, a stage unseen in twenty years of U.S. eradication efforts.
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