Colombia Captures Notorious Drug Lord Compared to Escobar

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Colombia’s most-wanted drug lord, Dairo Antonio Úsuga, widely known by his alias, Otoniel, and  the alleged leader of the notorious drug-trafficking group Clan del Golfo, or Gulf Clan, which dominates major cocaine-smuggling routes in the country’s north, has been captured by armed forces in his jungle hideout and faces extradition to the United States, reports the Washington Post. Colombian President Iván Duque likened Úsuga’s arrest to the capture of Pablo Escobar three decades ago.

Úsuga is accused of sending dozens of shipments of cocaine to the United States and of killing police officers, recruiting minors and sexually abusing children, among other crimes. Úsuga’s arrest is unlikely to change the fundamentals of drug trafficking in Colombia, which experts say is much more fragmented now than in the days when Escobar dominated the trade. Analysts are warning of possible violent repercussions and internal power struggles as others jostle to take Úsuga’s place. The U.S. Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs said Úsuga’s criminal network used violence and intimidation to control narcotics trafficking routes, cocaine processing laboratories, speedboat departure points and clandestine landing strips.

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