Colombian security forces detained the country’s most wanted criminal – drug lord and leader of the largest criminal group, Diro Antonio Usugu, known by the nicknames Otoniel, Mauricio and Mao. The American authorities have promised to pay a large reward for information on his whereabouts.
About the detention of Otoniel reported Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez. He compared the capture of Usugi to the detention of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s.
The special operation to arrest the Colombian drug lord was carried out in the province of Antioquia by the military, police and the Air Force. Previously, all attempts to catch him ended in failure. For conspiracy purposes, Otoniel did not use mobile phones, but gave orders and received information through messengers.
Police chief Jorge Vargas said that the drug lord’s movements were monitored by about 50 experts who analyzed satellite images. Specialists from the USA and Great Britain were also involved in the search for the criminal. transfers BBC. As a result, 50-year-old Usugu was tracked down in the countryside in northwestern Colombia, near the border with Panama. The special operation was attended by 500 security officials and 22 helicopters. One policeman was killed while arresting a drug lord.
The President of the country described the special operation as “the largest invasion of the jungle in the entire military history” of Colombia.
Otoniel ran the Gulf Clan drug cartel for 10 years after the death of his brother, who was killed at a New Years party during a police raid. This criminal group is considered the most powerful in Colombia. The US authorities describe it as a “well-armed and extremely brutal” organization.
The Gulf Clan is involved in drug trafficking, human trafficking, illegal gold mining and extortion. It includes about 1,800 armed gangsters. Members of the group were detained not only in Colombia, but also in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Honduras and Spain.
The Gulf Clan controls about 50% of the supply of Colombian cocaine, including to the United States and Russia, writes DW.
Diro Antonio Usuga has also been wanted by Washington for the past 12 years. He faces extradition.
In the past, Usaga took part in hostilities against the government on the side of the left-wing rebel group “National Liberation Army”, and then moved to the right-wing group “United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia.” Its former members make up the backbone of the Gulf Clan.
The United States has appointed a reward of $ 5 million for information on the whereabouts of the Colombian drug lord, the Colombian authorities added another $ 800 thousand to this amount. In addition to drug trafficking, Usagu is accused of murdering police officers, sexually assaulting children and recruiting minors into a criminal organization. The Gulf Clan group cooperates with the largest Mexican drug cartel, Sinaloa.