“Ottonel”, one of the most important drug dealers in Colombia, has been extradited to the United States

Three federal courts await him: O’Tonnell, the leader of the Del Golfo clan, considered one of Colombia’s biggest drug traffickers, was extradited Wednesday May 4 to the United States where he is being tried by a US court.

“I would like to report that Dairo Antonio Osuga, better known as ‘O’tonell’, has been handed over”In the evening, Colombian President Ivan Duque said: on Twitterbelieving that “This criminal can only be compared to Pablo Escobar.”a notorious Medellin cartel drug dealer, was shot dead by police in 1993.

He is the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world, the killer of social leaders and the police, the rapist of children and teenagers. Today, legitimacy, the rule of law, public power and justice triumph..

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On the run for more than a decade

“Ottonel,” Colombia’s most wanted drug trafficker, 50, was arrested on October 23 in the northwest during a major military operation with US and British assistance. He has been on the run for more than a decade, taking advantage of the generosity of corrupt state officials. Il fait depuis longtemps partie de la liste des personnes les plus recherchées par l’agence fédérale américaine chargée de lutter contre le trafic et la distribution de drogue aux Etats-Unis (DEA) et sa tête était pour mise par 5 millions de dollars à prix United States of America.

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Otoniel was first indicted in 2009 in Manhattan federal court for drug trafficking and providing assistance to a far-right paramilitary group designated as a terrorist organization by the US government. Subsequent indictments in federal courts in Brooklyn and Miami accused him of importing at least 73 tons of cocaine into the United States between 2003 and 2014 through countries including Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Honduras.

On Wednesday, he was taken – handcuffed, helmeted and wearing a flak jacket – from a prison in Bogota to a heavily guarded military transport airport. Local media broadcast pictures of a convoy of large armored vehicles accompanied by heavily armed policemen. The presidency also released photos of “O’tonell” handcuffed on a jet plane, shortly before the plane took off.

Relatives of Ottoniel’s victims had asked for the extradition to be suspended, believing that this procedure was underway To banish the leader of a paramilitary group who committed crimes against humanity from justice [en Colombie] »Which is the subject of more than 128 lawsuits in the country. They invoked their right to know the truth and receive compensation. But the Colombian justice has finally given permission to extradite the drug trafficker, explained to Agence France-Presse (AFP) Mr. Osuga’s defense team.

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Mr Duque said that from the United States, the drug trafficker would continue to cooperate with the Colombian authorities in the investigations against him and that when he served his sentence, he would return to “Colombia is paying the price for all the crimes he committed there.”. Mr. Doki has a “to thank” The Supreme Court and the Council of State as well as the Special Judicial Authority for Peace (JEP, which investigates the armed conflict in Colombia) “To avoid the willful manipulation of this criminal in an attempt to avoid this extradition.”.

Accidents and disputes

Ottonel’s detention under heavy surveillance in Bogota has been marked by numerous incidents and controversies. Unidentified persons stole recordings of his testimony before the Truth Commission, a body that investigates human rights violations during Colombia’s armed conflict until the signing of the 2016 peace agreement. Colombian police also interrupted Otoniel’s hearing, saying they suspected an escape attempt.

Who is afraid of ‘Otoniel’?in particular titled independent online media Campubelieving that some wanted to silence the drug trafficker, who allegedly announced during the hearings that the military continues to operate in collusion with far-right paramilitary groups in certain regions of the country.

According to the press, citing an AKP document, O’Tonnell allegedly implicated sixty-three people, allegedly associated with the Golfo clan, including a former minister, a former national director of the intelligence services, six former governors and four former members of Parliament. . According to his lawyer, he also claimed that he orchestrated his surrender.

Coming from a peasant family in northwest Colombia, Mr. Usuga was a far-left fighter, then a far-right paramilitary, before becoming the head of a powerful drug-trafficking organization. About 1,600 men, who export nearly 300 tons of cocaine each year to about 30 countries, according to authorities. He succeeded as clan chief of Del Golfo to his brother Juan de Dios, known as “Giovanni”, who was killed by police in 2012.

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During the five decades of the US-backed war on drugs, Colombia has killed or arrested several drug traffickers, most famously Pablo Escobar. But the country remains the world’s largest cocaine producer and the United States is the main market, while trafficking-related violence continues.

Le Monde with The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse

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