An important drug trafficker of the paramilitary group Clan del Golfo has been arrested in Colombia. The police hold him responsible for the shipment of more than fifteen tons of drugs per month to Europe and the United States. The operation is the result of three months of intelligence work. Jacobo Rodríguez Usuga, alias Atilio, was captured on December 26, thanks to a police operation that began two days earlier, in a village in the municipality of Carepa, in the department of Antioquia.
The captured man is a cousin of the former leader of this dangerous paramilitary group, Dairo Antonio Usuga David, alias Otoniel, who was arrested a couple of years ago and was at the time the most wanted drug trafficker in the country. Otoniel was extradited in May 2022 to the United States, where he is serving a 45-year sentence in a federal prison.
One million dollars per week
The detainee will face charges for the crime of aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime, after having controlled the cocaine business of the Clan del Golfo. Police sources also indicated that during the operations they found a minor, who was the son of the detainee, and who was taken in to offer him special protection.
Atilio was in charge of transporting illicit drugs in speedboats to some countries in Central America and the Caribbean, where he had clandestine warehouses with the capacity to store up to 20 tons of cocaine, and where he kept cash flows of more than a million dollars a week.
This significant amount of money was used to finance the paramilitary group, which for years has maintained an armed confrontation with the State, as well as with other illegal gangs, for territorial control. The Gulf Clan is present in 20 of Colombia’s 32 departments, focusing on the Gulf of Uraba, in the regions of Antioquia, Cordoba and Choco, where it has its main base of operations.
The fake Jose Manuel Manco Cartagena
The criminal’s behavior was very professional, although the use of high-end vans, as well as a fake ID in the name of Jose Manuel Manco Cartagena, helped the authorities to locate him.
According to the police, the fake Manco Cartagena dressed his security guard in peasant clothes and had security rings that allowed him to detect police presence up to three kilometers away.
Likewise, it was learned that a few days before Christmas Eve the drug trafficker had attended festive events, such as hare races and cock fights, with complete peace of mind.
Alias Atilio had become the right-hand man of the current head of the Gulf Clan, who assumed the leadership of the gang after the arrest of Otoniel in 2021.
Demonstration of government firmness
Colombian police director General William Salamanca announced the capture of the drug trafficker, describing the operation as “professional and clean, with full respect for human rights”.
With this important arrest, the Colombian government scores a police success while demonstrating firmness against criminal armed groups, just at a time when, within the framework of the so-called Total Peace, it is holding peace talks with other illegal armed organizations.
In this sense, President Petro congratulated himself for the capture. “Through intelligence operations of the national police, Jacobo Rodriguez Usuga, alias Atilio, a member of the Gulf Clan and head of its cocaine shipments abroad, has been captured. It is estimated that this man was able to export more than 15 tons of cocaine per month,” the president wrote on his social networks.