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The most fearsome drug trafficker since Pablo Escobar was extradited to the United States this week, where he faces an expected life sentence, but his cartel, the Clan del Golfo, pulled off a show of force by paralyzing part of Colombia for six days.
When Dairo Antonio Úsuga, 50, better known as Otoniel’s war, was placed on an army jet Wednesday night in Bogotá, he may have been saying his final goodbyes to his country. In the United States, where he was extradited, awaits a trial where he risks life imprisonment. Handcuffed and dressed in a bright orange jumpsuit, he was presented Thursday to a federal court judge in Brooklyn, who charged him, in particular with “management of a criminal enterprise” et “an international conspiracy to manufacture and distribute cocaine with the intention of exporting it”.
Between 2003 and his arrest in October 2021, his cartel “attempted to export more than 90,000 kg of cocaine to the United States”, underlined Anne Milgram, boss of the DEA, the American narcotics police. Or, according to her, 2 billion dollars in resale value. Facing the judge, Otoniel said “not guilty”. These are the only words he spoke before joining the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, the prison where the Mexican Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán preceded him, sentenced to life imprisonment in 2019.