- Military Forces capture the top ringleader of the Clan del Golfo.
- “This heavy blow is only comparable to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 90s”: President Duque.
- Alias Otoniel was on the list of the symbols of evil, wanted for drug trafficking, recruitment and abuse of minors.
Bogotá, October 23, 2021. President of the Republic, Iván Duque, accompanied by the Minister of Defense, Diego Molano Aponte and the military and Police commanders, announced the capture of alias Otoniel, the most wanted criminal in the country.
“In the framework of the Operation Osiris, Dairo Antonio Úsuga, alias Otoniel, top ringleader of the Organized Armed Group (GAO in Spanish) Clan del Golfo, has been captured, this is the hardest blow that has been dealt to drug trafficking in this century in our country,” said President Iván Duque.
Thanks to intelligence work and in the middle of a joint operation conducted by the National Police, the Army, the Air Force and the National Navy, the most dangerous drug trafficker in the world, accused of the murder of policemen, soldiers and social leaders, in addition to recruiting and abusing minors, was captured in the Cerro del Yoki, rural area of Necoclí, in the department of Antioquia.
Minister of Defense, Diego Molano said that the capture of Otoniel means a victory of the security policy to face the greatest threat against Colombia: drug trafficking.
The GAO Clan del Golfo, in recent years took a large number of tons of cocaine to the United States and Europe and had become a link of the microtrafficking business that invaded cities such as Antioquia, Costa Caribe and the department of Chocó, seeking its expansion in the same way in other regions of the country such as the department of Casanare and the Orinoquia region.
In addition, the head of the Defense Ministry said that with this result the Military Forces ratify that “there is no corner of Colombia where a criminal, terrorist, child rapist, murderer of social leaders and in the same way perpetrator of the worst attacks and murders of the police members can hide."
Minister Molano in the same way expressed solidarity with the families of members of the security forces who have fallen in the pursuit of alias Otoniel, especially of the policeman Edwin Guillermo Blanco, 34, born in Boyacá, who had been working in the National Police for 15 years and died in the operation.
In addition, he said that this capture frees the country and the world from a murderous drug trafficking that destroys young people and the environment and murders the police units.
The Military Forces will continue, without a pause, to work for the defense of the sovereignty of the freedom and tranquility of all Colombians.
Criminal record of alias Otoniel
The criminal experience of Otoniel Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, in the same way known, as Otoniel or Mauricio, maximum ringleader of the GAO Clan del Golfo, was considered a maximum value target for the Colombian State. Otoniel was born 50 years ago in Antioquia. He began his criminal experience 34 years ago, when he was 16, in the extinct guerrilla of the People's Liberation Army (EPL in Spanish), where he began to shape his ideology based on Marxist-Leninist-Maoist principles. As a member of that armed group, he began to gain experience in the handling of weapons and criminal structures, and created a doctrine that catapulted him to lead in a short time a network of drug trafficking, illegal mining, extortion and smuggling.
When he was 19, three years after joining the EPL, he joins the demobilization process of that guerrilla with 3,000 members, but decided to continue committing crimes as a member of the extinct Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC). Over time he became one of the ringleaders of the Centauros Block in the Eastern Plains, next to his brother Juan de Dios Úsuga David, known in the world of crime as Giovanny. They later became the main lieutenants of drug trafficker Daniel Rendón Herrera or Don Mario. The lives of these people were surrounded by eccentricities, luxuries and women. After the AUC demobilization process in 2005, the Úsuga brothers continued to commit crimes. After the capture of the Capo Don Mario, in April 2009, in Necoclí (Antioquia), during a National Police operation, Giovanny and Otoniel inherited control of the criminal, structural and financial scaffolding of the GAO Clan del Golfo that included armed men, urban support networks, collection centers, drug trafficking routes and multiple types of real estate. Thus they began to spread their tentacles in various regions of the country and to consolidate a criminal organization nourished mainly with money from drug trafficking. Next to his brother, who assumed the leadership, Otoniel became a target not only for the Colombian authorities, but was in the same way targeted by the United States government, which even offered a $ 5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
In Colombia, a reward of up to 3,000 million pesos was offered for his finding. In 2012, after the death of Giovanny in the course of a police operation, Dairo Antonio Úsuga became the top ringleader of the Organized Armed Group (GAO), giving continuity to the mafia style handling of the GAO Clan del Golfo that before the arrests or neutralization of its ringleaders always tried to rebuild their criminal control lines and multiple links with drug Cartels. An example of this phenomenon is Alexander Montoya Úsuga, cousin of Otoniel known as El flaco Montoya, a key piece for the shipment of drugs from Colombia to Central America and the United States. After his capture in 2012, carried out in Honduras, his place was taken by ringleaders such as Negro Sarley, El Indio, Leo and Visaje, among others.
In the same way, several of his relatives were captured by the authorities such as his girl partner La Flaca, in charge of supporting a money laundering network and front men; his nephew Orejas, in charge of drug trafficking of the Urabá region of the department of Chocó to Central America; his brothers Chengo and La Negra, his sister-in-law La Jefa and his cousins 07 and La Zarca, among others, all linked to the “Clan”. His cousin Alexander Montoya Úsuga, alias El Flaco, was extradited last August to the United States.
Similarly, the decisive operations of the Military Forces led to the neutralization of ringleaders such as Gavilán, El Indio, Inglaterra, Culo de Toro, Pablito, Ramiro Bigotes, Guagua, Cobra 5, Pueblo and Marihuano, the latter second ringleader of the criminal group, killed last February.
Otoniel was wanted with 128 arrest warrants for various crimes such as drug trafficking, extortion, homicide, forced displacement, firearms trafficking, formation of armed groups, conspiracy to commit crimes and crimes against humanity, among others. It in the same way, he has seven sentences and eight imprisonment measures in force. There are in the same way, two red and one blue INTERPOL notices against him and a request for extradition issued by a United States court. Intelligence and criminal investigation tasks show that Dairo Antonio Úsuga is responsible for directing criminal alliances with structures of residual organized crime and with some members of the Eln for drug trafficking activities, especially through the Gulf of Urabá region.