Colombia’s biggest drug trafficker, “Otoniel”, leader of the Gulf Clan, was extradited to the United States on Wednesday at the request of a New York court, announced Colombian President Ivan Duque.
“I inform you that Dairo Antonio Usuga, ‘Otoniel’, has been extradited”, declared Duque, in a message on the social network Twitter, considering that “this criminal cannot be compared to Pablo Escobar”, famous drug trafficker co-founder of the Medellin Cartel, shot by the police. in 1993.
One of the most wanted drug traffickers in the country, “Otoniel”, 50, was arrested on October 23, in northwest Colombia, in a vast police operation. The drug trafficking trial has been going on in a New York court since 2009 and “Otoniel” had a bounty on his head in the United States for five million dollars (4.7 million euros).
“He is the most dangerous drug dealer in the world, a murderer of social leaders and the police, a rapist of children and adolescents. Today, legality, the rule of law, public force, and justice are triumphing”, congratulated the Colombian head of state.
Local media broadcast images of a caravan of large armored vehicles, escorted by heavily armed police, heading towards Bogotá airport. The presidency also published photographs of “Otoniel”, handcuffed and wearing a gray coat, aboard a jet shortly before the plane took off.
Relatives of the victims of “Otoniel” asked for “a suspension” of extradition as they considered that this procedure would “extract from [Colombian] justice a paramilitary leader who committed crimes against humanity in the country”, claiming the right to know the truth and to reparations.
However, Ivan Duque assured that, once he has served his sentence in the United States, the head of the Gulf Clan “will return to Colombia to pay for all the crimes committed” in the country.
Coming from a peasant family in northwestern Colombia, Dairo Antonio Usuga was a guerrilla fighter for far-left groups, then a far-right paramilitary, before taking over the leadership of a drug trafficking organization, made up of around 1,600 men, responsible for exporting, on average, close to 300 tons of cocaine per year to three dozen countries, according to the authorities.
“Otoniel” replaced brother Juan de Dios, known as “Giovanni”, who was shot down by police in 2012, at the head of the Gulf Clan.
In five decades of the US-backed drug war, Colombia has killed or captured several drug traffickers, the most famous being Pablo Escobar.
Source: With Agencies