Colombia Extradites Drug Lord Dairo Usuga ‘Otoniel’ to U.S.

Colombia extradited drug lord Dairo Usuga, better known by the alias “Otoniel,” to the United States on May 4 to face drug trafficking charges.

Colombian President Ivan Duque announced the extradition, calling Usuga “the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world” and “the murder of social leaders and police officers, abuser of children and adolescents.”

“Today, legality, the rule of law, the security forces, and justice triumphed,” Duque said.

General Jorge Luis Vargas Valencia of the National Police of Colombia uploaded a video on Twitter showing a handcuffed Usuga being escorted by soldiers to an armored truck to a military airport.

Usuga, 50, had been imprisoned in the capital Bogota after his capture in October.

Valencia called the extradition “a historic milestone in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking in Colombia.”

“It is an unequivocal message: There will be no impunity, and justice will be done for the victims of this criminal and his families!” Valencia added.

Usuga, the leader of Colombia’s largest narco-trafficking gang known as the Gulf Clan, faces multiple drug-trafficking charges in New York and Florida district courts.

The U.S. accuses Usuga and the Gulf Clan of illegally bringing at least 73 tons of cocaine into the country between 2003 and 2012.

The U.S. indicted Usuga in 2009 and offered a $5 million bounty on his head.

Colombian authorities captured Usuga in October in his rural hideout in Antioquia province in a military operation involving 500 soldiers and 22 helicopters.

Family members of Usuga’s victims had asked the courts to suspend his extradition, arguing that he should stand trial in Colombia for his “crimes against humanity.”

Duque said on May 4 that Usuga will return to Colombia to pay for his crimes “once he completes his sentences in the U.S.”


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