Colombian Gulf Cartel Beseiges Choco State Over Leader Arrest

The Gulf Clan besieged the Choco province of Colombia, declaring an armed strike over the arrest of its leader, Dairo Antonio Úsuga.

Residents of Choco and other cities and villages across northern Colombia reported that paramilitary militiamen had done acts of violence, including setting vehicles on fire and forcing businesses to shut down. The militiamen also allegedly blocked roads and prevented residents from going out.

A resident of Apartadó said that every business establishment had been shut down since Thursday as the militiamen occupied the province. 

“Entire municipalities are shut down, buses have been burned, and nobody can leave their homes,” said a community leader of Montería in Córdoba.

The Gulf Cartel, bearing the name Gaitanist Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC), announced through a distributed flyer that the armed strike would last for four days. The clan also said it would not be responsible for any unfavorable consequences of the strike.

Úsuga, famously known as Otoniel, was extradited to the United States from Colombia on Thursday. Otoniel is facing charges of participating in cocaine manufacturing and trafficking.

“The Justice Department will work relentlessly alongside our international partners to disrupt the most violent and extensive drug-trafficking organizations and hold accountable those who run them,” said Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Colombian military and law enforcement personnel arrested Otniel on October 23, 2021, in the jungles of Colombia.

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