Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, known by the alias of “Otoniel”, who was the head of the organized armed group clan del Golfo and the most-wanted drug lord in Colombia, was captured on Sunday, October 23, in Cerro el Yoki by the Army, the Navy and the Air Force of the country.
In order to capture the top leader of the illegal armed group, it was necessary to mobilize more than 500 men from the special forces, 150 intelligence units, 50 experts in satellite intelligence, 22 helicopters, and the intervention of intelligence agencies from the United States and the United Kingdom.
After his arrest, Colombian President Iván Duque affirmed that his capture “is only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s.” On his part, the Defense Ministry, Diego Molano, described him as “one of the greatest symbols of evil in Colombia.”
The most wanted drug lord in Colombia since Pablo Escobar
Dairo Antonio now stands accused of terrorism; murder; kidnapping; extortion; drug trafficking; extortion related to vaccines; armed strikes; massacres; conspiracy to commit a crime; forced recruitment of minors; sexual abuse; the manufacture, trafficking and illegal possession of weapons; forced displacement; the creation of armed groups and crimes against humanity.
In addition, he has a total of 128 arrest warrants, seven convictions, eight arrest warrants, two red circulars, and a blue Interpol circular, in addition to an extradition request issued by the United States. He was also responsible for the deaths of more than 200 combatants from the Colombian security forces.
Otoniel is considered the most wanted drug trafficker in Colombia since the days of Pablo Escobar. The federal government of the United States accused him of drug trafficking and terrorism and offered a reward of $5,000,000, while the national government of Colombia offered a reward of COP $3,000 million for his capture.
The capture of Otoniel
On October 23, 2021, he was captured by the joint forces of the Colombian National Police, the Colombian Air Force, and the Colombian Army in Cerro Yoki, located in Necoclí (Urabá Antioquia) within the framework of “Operation Agamemnon.”
The authorities have determined that his fortune comes mainly from cocaine trafficking to the Mexican cartels. Otoniel has more than 120 criminal processes open for a wide range of crimes. President Iván Duque also said that Otoniel will be extradited to the United States to face drug trafficking charges.
A spokesman for the United States Embassy in Colombia stated “The United States celebrates the enormous efforts of the Colombian government that have led to the capture and arrest of Dairo Antonio Úsuga alias Otoniel.
“This extremely violent drug trafficker has been wanted by the United States since 2009. He and those under his command have used violence and intimidation to wreak havoc on the lives of rural Colombians for decades. Along with efforts to achieve sustainable development and our holistic approach to counternarcotics operations, cooperation in bilateral law enforcement policy brings Colombians closer to the lasting security they deserve.”