Colombia’s most-wanted drug lord Otoniel captured in jungle hideout 

Colombia’s most wanted drug lord and gang leader is behind bars. Soldiers captured Dairo Antonio Úsuga, known as Otoniel, in an operation near the border with Panama. He is accused of drug-trafficking, murder and kidnapping.

The operation to capture Otoniel involved more than 500 soldiers and special forces. The narco-trafficker is accused of spending decades building the so-called Gulf Clan cartel controlling much of the smuggling of cocaine through northern Colombia.

Over those years, he allied himself with rebel groups – both right and left-wing – to ensure his survival in the jungle. He allegedly oversaw an army of assassins who kept northern Colombia in fear as they fought for control of lucrative smuggling routes.

Otoniel’s arrest comes amid a surge in the production of coca – the raw material used to make cocaine – to new levels – despite decades of efforts to eradicate the drug trade.