Colombian President confirms Otoniel's extradition to the US

Colombian President Iván Duque confirmed on Wednesday afternoon the extradition to the US of the leader of the Clan del Golfo criminal gang, Dairo Antonio Úsuga alias Otoniel on drug trafficking charges.


Colombian Council of State suspends extradition of “Otoniel”

In the company of the military leadership and some ministers, the Colombian president described Otoniel as a “criminal” with a global reach and “only comparable to Pablo Escobar”, the drug baron killed in 1993.

According to official sources, Otoniel was transferred to the Air Command of the Colombian Air Force, Catam, in the vicinity of El Dorado International Airport, in Bogotá, where he was boarded on a DEA anti-drug agency plane.

Otoniel’s extradition was possible after the Council of State will lift the suspension on Wednesday of the procedure to be handed over to the US authorities.

Alias ​​Otoniel is requested by the US Justice and is accused of conspiracy to commit a crime, international distribution of cocaine, and use of firearms in order to promote drug trafficking.

Colombian justice also accuses the leader of the Gulf Clan of homicide, terrorism, recruitment of minors, kidnapping, sexual crimes, among other crimes he committed during the armed conflict, before becoming the most wanted drug trafficker in the country.

Last week, the Council of State ordered the suspension of the extradition process in response to a request from a group of victims of the Clan del Golfo, alleging their right to know the truth and to be compensated.

For the victims, the extradition of Otoniel would lift a cloak of impunity for the crimes committed in Colombia by the head of the Clan del Golfo when he was a paramilitary.

On October 23, 2021, Colombian security forces captured Otoniel in the Osiris operation, in Urabá, Antioquia.

President Duque described the arrest as the hardest blow to drug trafficking so far in the 21st century in the country.

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