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Colombia extradites infamous drug lord to US

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BOGOTA- COLOMBIA - MAY 4: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - MANDATORY CREDIT- COLOMBIAN PRESIDENCY -HANDOUT - ANADOLU AGENCY) Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias Otoniel, leader of drug trafficking group captured in October 2021 was extradited to the US, in Bogota, Colombia on May 04, 2022. (Colombian Presidency - Anadolu Agency)
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May 05, 2022 - 09:46 AM

BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias “Otoniel,” the leader of the Gulf Clan cartel, was extradited to the US on Wednesday on drug trafficking charges.

Usuga was Colombia’s most wanted drug lord before he was captured in October 2021 following a massive military operation.

President Ivan Duque said Usuga was the world’s most dangerous trafficker.

“I would like to announce the extradition of Dairo Antonio Usuga alias ‘Otoniel’; the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world, murderer of social leaders and police, an abuser of boys, girls and teenagers.” Duque said on Twitter.

Surrounded by a massive police convoy, Usuga was transported through the streets of the capital Bogota to a heavily guarded military base, where he was handed over to US Drug Enforcement Administration officials.

“As a candidate I pledged to capture and extradite this criminal of the worst kind, and we fulfilled our commitment to Colombia,” said Duque.

Usuga, 50, had 128 arrest warrants in Colombia for crimes such as drug trafficking, extortion, homicide, forced displacement, arms trafficking, forming armed groups, conspiracy to commit crimes and crimes against humanity as well as seven convictions.

The US accuses Usuga and the Gulf Clan of bringing tons of cocaine into the country between 2003 and 2012. His extradition was finally carried out after the Colombian State Council lifted a measure that was preventing him from leaving at the request of the victims, who argued that his extradition would violate their right to obtain the truth and receive reparations.

“This criminal was extradited to serve drug trafficking sentences in the United States. But I want to be clear that once those are served, he will return to Colombia to pay for the crimes committed against our country,” said Duque.

The president said that Usuga would continue collaborating with the Colombian authorities in the investigations from the US.

The Colombian government had offered a $800,000 reward for information about his whereabouts before capturing him close to the border with Panama.

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