The head of the Gulf Clan, Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias “Otoniel, assured this Tuesday before the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) that he voluntarily surrendered and that he was not detained by the authorities, something that the Colombian president, Iván Duque, rejected by ensuring that he was captured in an operation.
The one who was until his arrest the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia assured in a hearing before the high court, arising from the peace agreement signed by the Government and the FARC guerrillas in 2016, that he turned himself into a group of soldiers so that they could respect life, according to local media.
This contrasts with the official version, according to which “Otoniel” was arrested on October 23 in a joint operation by the Colombian Police and the Armed Forces at a point called Cerro Yoki, in the jurisdiction of Necoclí, a municipality in the department of Antioquia, where it was fenced off for months.
In this regard, Duque assured this Tuesday: “Alias ’Otoniel’ says they did not capture him. The first thing I want to say is: what is that vermin going to say when he is already in a dungeon in a US jail? He is a criminal that he was captured, that he killed policemen, that he kidnapped people, that we had been hunting him for a long time. “
“That he does not come to pretend like such a criminal now, he knows how they captured him, he knows how far the intelligence got to him and we show him that it is not possible against the state. So that vermin, that criminal, is notified, that when he goes to jail in the US, which is what corresponds to him with extradition, he will continue to say the same thing, “ added Duque.
On November 25, the Colombian president assured that his Government had received a formal request for the extradition of “Otoniel” to the United States.
The United States requests the extradition of the criminal boss to answer before the courts in New York and Florida on charges related to drug trafficking.
Against Úsuga there are 122 arrest warrants in Colombia and six convictions, including two of 40 and 50 years in prison, for aggravated homicide, homicide of a protected person, forced disappearance, forced displacement, and illegal recruitment of minors.
A LIFE DEDICATED TO CRIME
The 50-year-old drug trafficker has been involved in illegal groups for a lifetime, since he joined the People’s Liberation Army (EPL), a Maoist group, at the age of 16.
Then he went to the dissolved United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC), where he worked for hand in hand with one of his best-known bosses, Daniel Rendón Herrera, alias “Don Mario”, in charge of laundering assets and paying extortion money.
When he demobilized from the AUC in 2006, he decided to form his own group together with a brother, initially called “Los Urabeños. “
This group grew to become the largest gang in the country, accused of selective homicides, assassinations of social leaders, recruitment of minors, extortion, forced disappearances, and displacement and confinement.