“Otoniel”, known Colombian drug lord, appears before a judge in the United States

Colombian drug lord "Othniel"extradited on Wednesday from Colombia, will appear this Thursday before the Brooklyn court judge instructing his case for drug trafficking, judicial sources confirmed.

Before, the attorney general of the Eastern District Court of New York, Breon Peace, as well as the head of the DEA, the anti-drug agency, Anne Milgram, among others, will offer a press conference.

Antonio Usuga David, alias "Othniel"arrived around 11:30 p.m. (local time) in New York to stand trial for drug traffickingafter the green light given by the justice system for his extradition.

According to the Colombian president, Iván Duque, Otoniel is "a murderer of social leaders, abuser of children and adolescents, cop killer and one of the most dangerous criminals on the planet; only comparable to Pablo Escobar"the drug baron shot down in 1993.

Othniel was arrested in October 2021 after an intense persecution of months through the jungles near Panama, in the northwest of the country.

Until then, commanded the Gulf Clanresponsible for 30% (about 300 tons) of cocaine exports from the world’s largest producer of that drug.

The United States, the largest consumer of the drug that Colombia exports, accuses Otoniel and his organization of bringing at least 73 tons of cocaine into its territory between 2003 and 2012.


Colombian justice also accuses him of homicide, terrorism, recruitment of minors, kidnapping and sexual crimes, among other crimes he committed when he was a guerrilla and paramilitary, before becoming the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia.

The victims had requested the "suspension" of extraditionclaiming his right to know the truth already be repaired. But the Colombian justice gave the green light to his transfer on Wednesday, according to what Úsuga’s defense informed AFP.

"this bandit was extradited to serve drug trafficking sentences in the U.S. But I want to make it clear that, once he completes those sentences, he will return to Colombia to pay for the crimes he committed in our country."Duke noted.

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With a contingent of some 1,600 men, the Clan del Golfo has a presence in almost 300 (of the 1,100) municipalities, according to the independent think tank Indepaz.

For the government, the capture and subsequent Otoniel’s extradition is the most convincing blow that has received drug trafficking since Escobar’s death.

Born into a peasant family in northwestern Colombia, Úsuga has been accused by the authorities of abusing girls and adolescents in their areas of interference.

Guerrilla, paramilitary, capo

In 2017 he had announced his intention to reach an agreement to submit to justice, but the government responded with a fierce persecution.

The Clan has been decimated by a series of coups by the authorities against Otoniel’s inner circle. After capturing him, Duke proclaimed the beginning of the end of what is considered the largest drug gang in the country.

Its members still carry out sporadic attacks against the security forces. The most recent one killed six soldiers in one of his pillboxes.

Otoniel went on to lead the group after the death of his brother Juan de Dios, "John"in clashes with the police in 2012. He started in arms as a guerrilla of the Popular Liberation Army, a Marxist guerrilla demobilized in 1991.

After handing over the weapons, fought in far-right paramilitary groups who spread terror in the 1990s with massacres and atrocities committed in their fight against radical leftist guerrillas.

The bulk of these self-defense groups demobilized in 2006 after agreeing with the government of Álvaro Uribe (2002-2010). But Otoniel decided to remain illegal.

After half a century of fighting drug trafficking, Colombia remains the world’s leading producer of cocaine.


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