Colombia’s Most Wanted Narco Captured: “Otoniel” Gulf Clan Leader

The number one of the criminal gang of the Clan del Golfo, Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, alias “Otoniel”, the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia, was captured in a joint operation of the Police and the Armed Forces in the northwest of the country, local media reported on Saturday. The government has not confirmed the capture, although the House of Nariño announced a statement by President Iván Duque, which has not yet occurred, but in images released by different media the captured man is seen smiling, dressed in black pants and shirt and with his hands tied behind his back, when he is led by soldiers armed with rifles after getting off a military helicopter. According to the first information, the capture took place in the rural area of El Totumo, which is part of the municipality of Necoclí, in the Gulf of Urabá, in northwestern Colombia, where the Clan del Golfo emerged, which later spread to other regions of the country. SIX-YEAR SEARCH OPERATIONAlias “Otoniel” was intensely wanted since 2015 in the Urabá region by thousands of police and military participating in the two phases of “Operation Agamemnon”, through which dozens of men under his command were killed and tons of cocaine were seized. In September 2017, after the signing of peace with the FARC and the opening of dialogues with the guerrillas of the National Liberation Army (ELN), alias “Otoniel” announced in a video posted on social networks his intention to submit to justice, which made Colombians think about the possibility of achieving peace after more than half a century of armed conflict on several internal fronts. According to the Colombian government, the Clan del Golfo is responsible for sending tons of cocaine to the United States, as well as setting up a criminal network dedicated to collecting extortion from businessmen and merchants in the region of Urabá, bordering Panama, and on the Atlantic coast mainly. He is also accused of murdering numerous police and social leaders as part of his strategy of terror in the areas where the gang operates. For that reason, “Otoniel” has more than a hundred open processes in the Colombian justice system and Interpol was looking for him with a red circular. The news of the capture of alias “Otoniel” was received with relief by politicians of different aspects, such as the liberal pre-candidate for the Presidency Juan Fernando Cristo, who described it as “an important blow” of the “Military Forces against organized crime” and called for “persisting in the persecution against violent groups.” I congratulate the pdte government. Iván Duque for the capture of “Otoniel”, maximum leader of the Clan del Golfo. “Otoniel” must be held accountable for the hundreds of crimes committed under his command. Victims deserve justice,” José Miguel Vivanco, executive director for the Americas at Human Rights Watch, wrote on Twitter.

Original source in Spanish

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