Colombia says it has captured drug kingpin Otoniel

Colombian armed forces have captured drug kingpin Dairo Antonio Usuga, also known as Otoniel.

President Ivan Duque on Saturday called it the biggest blow to drug trafficking since the death of Pablo Escobar.

Otoniel is the leader of the drug trafficking group Clan del Golfo with around 1,200 armed men.

A majority of them are former members of far-right paramilitary groups operating throughout several provinces in Colombia.

Otoniel is accused of sending dozens of shipments of cocaine to the United States.

He is also accused of killing police officers, recruiting minors and sexually abusing children among other crimes.

Colombia had offered a reward of up to about USD$800,000 for information on his whereabouts.

The U.S. government meanwhile offered a reward of up to USD$5 million.

The Colombian government said Otoniel was captured during an operation

that involved more than 500 members of the country's special forces.

It added that one police officer died in the process.

Although Dugue said the drug lord's capture could mean the end of the Clan del Golfo, risk analysts warn that a new leader will most likely take over as head of the group.

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