February 9, 2023

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Ottoniel: How is Clan del Golfo after the handing over of Colombia’s biggest drug smuggler to the United States? | The world

The biggest drug smuggler He cried and humiliated when he was taken to El Dorado International Airport, but his fate had already been laid. One day after being deported to the United States, Tairo Antonio Suka David, ‘‘, Appeared in court in Brooklyn, New York, on Thursday, the 5th of this month. Sitting on the accused’s bench, Pleaded not guilty.

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According to the indictment, Othniel He has been accused of introducing more than 10 tonnes of cocaine in the United States as the “head of a continuing criminal organization” and the head of Clan del Golfo, which has more than 6,000 members. In the states. Colombia.

Brooklyn’s federal attorney, Brian Peace, has vowed that the criminal organization will exercise “military control over the size of the territory” in the Uraba region of Antioch, one of the most lucrative drug trafficking areas within Colombia.

Othniel He was arrested in October 2021 after months of intense chasing in the woods near Panama in northwestern Colombia. Until then, he had ordered 30% (approximately 300 tons) of Cocaine exports to Glan del Golfo.

Colombian drug trafficker and Gulf chief Dyro Antonio Usuka boarded a deportation flight to the United States on May 4, 2022. (AFP).

“No more synonyms”

Destroyed by a series of conspiracies by the authorities against the close circle of the Clan del Golfo. Othniel. After his capture, Colombian President Evan Duke announced the beginning of the end of what is considered Colombia’s largest drug gang.

Jeremy McDermott, co – director of InSight Crime, an organization that specializes in organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean, sees what has been seen over the past decade as a gradual fragmentation of organized crime in Colombia. “With the release Othniel I think we’ve going to see more and more pieces within Clan del Golfo because there is no one with a profile like Otonial.”, He tells El Comorcio.

Othniel He has a criminal record that represents a lifetime of illegality. He joined the Popular Liberation Army (EPL) team. After signing a peace agreement in 1991, he became part of the paramilitary forces of the Colombian United Defense Forces (AUC), and after their mobilization, in 2006, he formed the criminal gang of Los Urabenos, now Clan del Golfo.

He is a dinosaur, i.e. not Othniels. This man had a criminal and guerrilla path and a paramilitary force. It is an image that creates a lot of submission or respect in the underworld. No one has the same profileMcDermott mentions.

Clan del Golbo criminal gang number one, Tairo Antonio Suka David (c), alias "Othniel"After his capture, in the Caribbean (Colombia).
Clan del Golfo “Otoniel”, the number one criminal gang number one, Dairo Antonio suga David (c), after his capture in Caribbean (Colombia). / EFE / Colombian Presidency

In recent years, Othniel He returned to his career as a guerrilla because the search volume against him was huge. “Ottoniel moved through the donkey, canoe, etc. every day. Very few can afford such a life, but he is a guerrilla, a paramilitary. Today’s narcotics do not have the same profile”, The expert adds.

No deep changes

Despite the importance of the fall OthnielHis assignment is unlikely to drastically change how Clan del Golfo works, as the system is accustomed to operating without Cabo’s physical presence.

Internal structure of Urabeños [Clan del Golfo] It is designed to maximize regional presence, participation and transformation in the criminal economies. This led the group to use a variety of weapons networks in the regions, mainly made up of central structures and owners.”, Stands for InSight Crime.

In addition, McDermott recalled, today, especially for Europe, transport, multinational, and therefore at every link in the drug trafficking chain, a Colombia, a Venezuela, a European, a route, destination, owner or buyer.

There is a type of multinational network for drug trafficking. I think that will be the case. Remember that Colombia Coconut exports more than ever, the only thing that has changed is that we do not know who owns and who handles the exports.”, Says the expert.

A soldier is stationed in a helicopter near the Caribbean port of Antioch, Colombia, in the area captured by drug trafficker Dairo Antonio Usuka.  (Daniel Munoz / AFP).
A soldier is stationed in a helicopter near the Caribbean port of Antioch, Colombia, in the area captured by drug trafficker Dairo Antonio Usuka. (Daniel Munoz / AFP).

Another important factor is that other criminal groups, such as ELN, which are heavily involved in the production of cocaine, are on the Colombian scene and protect laboratories and crops in its spheres of influence. There are also dissidents from FARC and Second Marketalia who are involved in drug trafficking.

“But today most high-end drug traffickers are invisible, they are hidden and have a low profile because today they can not hide in civil conflict like before. The world has changed. There are no cartels, it is the world of criminal subcontracting,” says McDermott.


“A temporary weakness found in Clan del Golfo, but not permanently”

Eduardo Puscaglia

Senior Scholar in Law and Economics at Columbia University and Government Adviser on Organized Crime Issues

“What real impact will the handover of Odonial have on the Gulf clan?”

These are criminal organizations in which if one of their leaders is deported, whether it is regional or from the leadership, there is an amplifying effect in the United States, which is not found in countries such as Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Colombia. . Because Americans have very flexible laws and huge budgets, they can pursue the criminal structure of that organization based on the testimonies of those who hand it over. In exchange for practical benefits, many of the deportees provide information about the company’s assets, shell companies and factories in various countries around the world. The United States has that comparative advantage and countries that allow deportation are well aware of it.

What was that criminal system like in Colombia?

Handover, like all events, creates internal struggles to change these leaders and at the same time creates a temporary, but permanent, relative weakness. To the extent that the United States does not progress with these transnational and international patriarchal disorders, the system will remain the same in the Middle Ages. These individuals are changeable, they are companies, not families. There will be a difference in the amplifying effects of the property removal resulting from the handover of the otonyl.

– What is the relevance of the image of the Ottoman at this time?

Colombian criminal gangs are no longer just drug traffickers, but are committed to a variety of crimes, including immigration, human trafficking, arms smuggling, and drug trafficking. The fact that this identity was handed over produces a short-term effect in reducing these crimes, but makes no difference in the medium term. If America fails to create the multiplier effect I talked about earlier, that system will remain the same.

Which drug trafficking groups are still active in Colombia?

Colombia has had institutional improvements over the past 20 years to combat organized crime. It has made great progress, however, not so much in neighboring countries. Colombian groups or foreign groups operating in Colombia have patriarchal sites in Colombia and neighboring countries, including the Mexican Sinaloa Cartel. The so-called cockroach effect occurred, and as Colombian institutional performance worked to eliminate, imprison, or deport these criminals, criminals began to operate more from countries at lower expected costs.

What is Clan del Golfo’s current relevance to the organized crime scene?

Compared to the Sinaloa cartel, it is less fit. Sinaloa Cartel, of Mexican descent, is a sophisticated criminal organization that infiltrates the political system of Mexico, Colombia and other countries with great frequency. In that sense, the Clan del Golfo is a secondary team compared to the Sinaloa Cartel. And in terms of patriotism, this is a secondary group.

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