Security forces have captured Colombia’s most-wanted drug dealer, the government said on Saturday.
Dairo Antonio Usuga, also known as Otoniel, the leader of the Clan del Golfo, or Gulf Clan, a drug trafficking group, is the world’s most feared drug trafficker, as per President Ivan Duque.
“This is the hardest blow against drug trafficking in this century in our country, only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 90s. Alias Otoniel was the most feared drug trafficker in the world,” he said from the Tolemaida Air Base in Tolima Department.
Usuga has murdered police, soldiers and social leaders. He recruited minors in Antioquia and other departments where the Gulf Clan is present, as per Duque.
“Alias Otoniel was in the most wanted cartel not only for drug trafficking and recruitment but also for child abuse. We will share information with agencies in the United States and the United Kingdom given the international danger of this criminal,” said Duque. He said Operation Osiris marks “the end of the Gulf Clan.”
“To all those who have belonged to the criminal organization, the message I am sending is clear and forceful: either you submit to justice immediately or the full weight of the law will be brought down on you,” he said.
Otoniel who was the last major heir to criminal paramilitary groups was demobilized during the government of Alvaro Uribe. The armed forces had been on his trail for years. Otoniel was unable to sleep two nights at the same location as the security forces were constantly tracking him.
Police Director General Jorge Vargas said the drug lord and his men were suffering from hunger because law enforcement operations had them surrounded.
Otoniel did not allow anyone around him to use cell phones. Prior to the meetings, participants had to change clothes and toss them because Otoniel feared being located by GPS.
About 500 men took part in Operation Osiris, which began early Saturday and ended about 3 p.m. when Otoniel was caught. One officer died during the operation.