Of Narco guerrilla: the life dedicated to the crime of 'Otoniel'

His mother, a devout evangelical Pentecostal, prayed that the police arrested him. She was aware of the high price she had put at the head of her son and she

Of Narco guerrilla: the life dedicated to the crime of 'Otoniel'

His mother, a devout evangelical Pentecostal, prayed that the police arrested him. She was aware of the high price she had put at the head of her son and she feared that he finished riddled with bullets. "I would like my son to be in jail," he told this newspaper Ana Celsa David in the interview she granted him at the house of her from a path of the municipality of Chigorodó, department of Antioquia. "He is safer, he could repent and go to heaven, and not, in a career, it's hard, when one regrets, he lives stuck to God."

It ran the year 2015 and the North American authorities already offered five million dollars of reward by the head of Daniel Antonio, alias 'Otoniel', Supreme Chief of the Self-Defense Gaitanists of Colombia, as they always wanted them to be called. But they were better known as Gulf Clan or Urabeños. In that year, the Colombian government had created Operation Agamemnon, a special body formed by 1,000 men, a number that would then triple, to hunt and weaken the powerful criminal band, founded around 2005, and dedicated to drug trafficking.

His brother and right hand, Juan de Dios, alias 'Giovanni', rested in the cemetery. He had died in a confrontation with the police, in 2012. And Ana Celsa, who died of a cardiac arrest last year, feared that the seventh of the nine children of her would run the same fate.

But A 'Otoniel' captured this Saturday. They gave with whom he was one of the two most sought after caps of Colombia (the other is alias 'Gentil Duarte', the FARC-EP) in the knot of the paramillo, between the hills Yoki and the blue. It is a jungle, rod, as impenetrable and broken, that the members themselves of the special forces considered it a hell. But 'Otoniel' I knew her as few and from a very young woman he got used to living and having the most inaccessible mountains as a lair. Also, he had been fleeing for six years, protected by a small group of faithful, without sleeping more than two or three nights in the same place.

But this Saturday they found him alone, he had separated from his escorts and had spent the night in the weather.

The mission to capture him began planning on October 15. The authorities had managed to determine the area where it was hidden. At dawn on Friday, using 22 helicopters, they mobilized half of special forces and marine infantry and set eight safety rings around the point where they had placed, to close all the outputs. 'Otoniel' Úsuga had managed to circumvent other attempts to capture and this time they wanted to be sure that they would not jump in their hands.

His mother told that she was a timid child at school and that at age 18 she joined the EPL, a national liberation army, the guerrilla that then controlled New Antioquia, the town where her parents, worked a farm. "He was not revolutionary, it was what he had and left with them," he recalled with sadness, that she always reproached the bad steps of her children.

When the EPL was demobilized in 1991, 'Otoniel' and 'Giovanni' jumped to the Farc but shortly after they crossed the shore and joined the self-defense of Cordoba and Urabá, of the brothers Castaño, the staunch enemies of the guerrillas. They also did not accept the delivering of weapons of the paramilitary so-called (then United Self-Defense of Colombia) and in 2008, both were integrated into the AGC (Self-Defenses Gaitanists of Colombia) or the Urabeños, who created Daniel Rondon, Alias Don Mario. At Capo he was stuck in 2008 and since then the mafia band, in command of Otoniel, grew to become the strongest drug trafficker and criminal group, along with the new FARC-EP and ELN.

Ruthless man, distrustless, that there was only one ancient photo, never used electronic means and communicated with his lieutenants with human posts. Author of countless crimes, in August 2017 he surprised the country announcing, by means of a video, which he offered an agreement to demobilize the AGC. He read a statement, using the same language that the guerrillas usually use, in which he claimed to have the "firm will that peace be consolidated in Colombia. We want to be part of the end of the conflict to reach total disarmament." And he added, camouflage dress, which was the desire of him "reaching a worthy and voluntary exit for all our combatants. We are willing to suspend all the illegal activities of the organization." He also gave him a brief message to Pope Francis and, among other things, in addition to "ordering his prayers," he told him that he was "forced to grasp the weapons (...) we are men of God, respectful of divine law."

But Santos, which then had already sealed his agreement with the FARC, did not advance any process with them and the way of a pact was completely blurred.

Against 'Otoniel' ÚSUGA have dictated 168 capture orders for all kinds of atrocious crimes and crimes. And while the United States has asked the extradition of it, it will not be likely that the Supreme Court will agree to send you out of the borders without ever confessing in Colombia, all he has done. Without forgetting that many police, military, judges, prosecutors and local nervous authorities will be as far as they can count on the corrupt relationships they established with the AGC.

It is not clear, in any case, what it can mean for your armed band not having a mythical visible head for the troop or who will be your successor.

Updated Date: 24 October 2021, 09:33

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