MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, August 16th 2022 - 19:50 UTC

 

 

Otoniel extradited to United States

Thursday, May 5th 2022 - 19:41 UTC
Full article
“Once he serves those sentences he will return to Colombia to pay for the crimes he committed in our country,” Duque said (Pic AFP) “Once he serves those sentences he will return to Colombia to pay for the crimes he committed in our country,” Duque said (Pic AFP)

Despite several convictions in his native Colombia, Dairo Antonio Usuga, leader of the Gulf Clan drug-trafficking gang better known as “Otoniel” has been extradited to the United States on Wednesday to face various charges in both New York and Florida.

 “This criminal is only comparable to Pablo Escobar; he is not only the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world but also a murderer of social leaders, an abuser of children and adolescents, a murderer of police officers, and one of the most dangerous criminals on the planet,” President Iván Duque said.

Usuga's extradition had been put on hold after the Council of State ruled days ago in favor of social groups who preferred he stayed in the country to pay for his crimes. However, the same Council of State Wednesday lifted the restriction on the grounds that the social groups had not exhausted all possible actions before filing a legal petition.

Otoniel was arrested in October of 2021. He had begun his career in crime as a guerrilla fighter, then joined paramilitary groups from where he moved on to drug trafficking until he became the head of the Clan del Golfo, a criminal structure dedicated to the crime industry on various fronts: extortion, drug trafficking, assassinations, among others.

Usuga has 122 arrest warrants and six convictions for crimes such as homicide, massacres, disappearances, forced displacement, and the recruitment of minors.

Duque assured that once Usuga completes his sentence in the United States he will have to return to the country to serve the local sentences. “This bandit was extradited to serve sentences for drug trafficking in the United States, but I want to make it clear that once he serves those sentences he will return to Colombia to pay for the crimes he committed in our country.”

In recent months, both the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) and the Truth Commission have summoned Usuga who allegedly revealed ties between the Gulf Clan and Colombian law enforcement agencies as well as politicians and members of the civil society.

Duque insisted “this criminal must continue to collaborate with the Colombian authorities that require him in their investigations and inquiries,” although his defense must now focus on the accusations on U.S. Soil.

“I also want to make it absolutely clear that in our government narcoterrorists are captured and extradited or killed,” said the president, who warned the Gulf Clan “either they submit to the authorities or they will suffer the same fate.”

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!