Colombia’s most wanted warlord known as ‘Otoniel’ will face justice in an American court
Murderous Colombian drug kingpin and warlord Dairo Antonio Usuga, also known as ‘Otoniel’, was extradited to the United States on Wednesday to serve his sentence for drug trafficking, despite objections from his victims.
“I want to report that Dairo Antonio Usuga alias 'Otoniel' was extradited; the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world, murderer of social leaders and police officers, abuser of children and adolescents. Today, legality, the rule of law, the Public Force and justice triumph,” Colombian President Ivan Duque confirmed on Twitter.
However, family members of Otoniel’s victims disagree with the president. Prior to the extradition, they had pleaded to keep the notorious criminal in the country so he could be tried for crimes against humanity in a Colombian court.
President Duque has argued that the drug trafficker will still face justice in Colombia. “This criminal was extradited to serve drug trafficking sentences in the United States,” he said. “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.”
After a seven-year manhunt, Otoniel was eventually captured near the border with Panama in October. The operation involved 500 soldiers and 22 helicopters. Prior to his arrest, Washington had offered a $5 million bounty for the warlord’s whereabouts.
A leader of the notorious narcotics-trafficking Gulf Clan, Usuga stands accused of bringing at least 73 tons of cocaine into the US between 2003 and 2012. The Gulf Clan is believed to be one of the biggest exporters of cocaine in the world. Otoniel’s arrest was seen as the biggest blow to Colombia’s drug trafficking business since the assassination of Pablo Escobar in 1993.