The criminal gang Clan del Golfo 20220511

After Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias Otonielthe Colombian drug trafficker who has been compared to Pablo Escobarwas extradited to USA to face a judicial process, the criminal gang known as the “Gulf Clan” he took revenge through a strong “armed strike”.

Several dead, almost 200 vehicles incinerated and deserted towns were some of the consequences of the retaliation taken by the “Otoniel” organization, which dramatically paralyzed the north and northwest of Colombia for a week. The clan is designated as responsible for mobilizing between 30 and 60% of cocaine that leaves that South American nation (equivalent to about 700 tons).

The dark history of “Otoniel”, the biggest narco in Colombia: crimes, rapes and kidnappings

After the capture of Dairo Úsuga in October, the Colombian president Ivan Duke expressed: “This is a blow that marks the end of the Gulf Clan”. Then, shortly before he was transferred to America, he called him a “criminal only comparable to Pablo Escobar“.

Despite the government having 52,000 soldiers and police, the Clan del Golfo demonstrated its power less than three weeks before the presidential elections in Colombia. According to the Ministry of Security of that country, the murders of eight people were recordedfive of them members of the security forces.

The criminal gang Clan del Golfo 20220511

The image of the assassin who murdered the Paraguayan prosecutor and the video after his death

On the other hand, there was also a strong limitation on trade, classes and transportation in 141 of the more than one thousand one hundred Colombian municipalities, according to official balances. This is because the “Otoniel” clan, also known as the Gaitanista Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC)is the armed group that has expanded its territory the most in recent years.

The Gulf Clan and its new forms of attack

During the “armed strike”, the organization exhibited its strength in regions that were “relatively safe from violence” after the peace agreement with the FARC guerrillas, in 2016. “The State is not very clear what to do. What shows as successes in security, including the very extradition of ‘Otoniel’, It does not mean that on the ground things change“Specialist Kyle Johnson, an analyst at the Conflict Response Foundation, told AFP.

“The government believes that as there is less violence it is not so serious. But, even if there are not the levels of violence that we see in the south of the country, the situation is complicated“, Johnson said. On this line, Héctor Espinosa, governor of Sucre, one of the areas hardest hit by the cartel, warned that they must prepare for a “cyber fight“.

Dairo Antonio Usuga David, alias Otoniel 20220505

According to the official, there were police to ensure security “but the people did not want to leave because they have some chains WhatsApp and of Facebook they are telling them not to go out”.

“They started doing real actions where people saw that they could hurt him or take your life. Like burning a motorcycle or hitting it with a rod. Then the people saw that their lives were in danger and paid attention to them,” revealed a journalist who was forced to spread a clan pamphlet in Facebook.

The extradition of “Otoniel” and the elections

The criminal gang Clan del Golfo 20220511

Dairo Usuga He was extradited on May 4 to the United States, where he faces charges of drug trafficking. There, he pleaded not guilty before New York federal judge Vera M. Scanlon, who accused him, among other crimes, of “lead an ongoing criminal enterprise” between 2003 and October 2021, when he was captured, and “participating in a international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cocaine, knowingly and with the intent that the drugs would be illegally imported into the United States.”

In addition to denying the charges, the former leader of the “Gulf Clan” has waived his bail request and awaits a jury trial. A few days before the election of May 29, the topic has entered the campaign. the leftist Gustavo Petro criticized the government’s “failed security proposal” against drugs.

His main rival, the right-wing Federico Gutierrezasked that Colombia not give in “to these criminals” and fueled the debate between “iron fist” or negotiation.

fps / ds

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