17,500 Lbs of Cocaine Seized in Clan Úsuga Drug Bust- Largest in Colombian History
Colombia just took a massive step in battling the incredibly damaging drug trafficking and gang violence epidemic crippling the country. Not only are the drug cartels and gangs of Colombia a threat to public safety with high crime and murder rates, but it’s also ruining the international reputation of Colombia- stereotyping against the people of Colombia label them all thugs, drug dealers, and criminals.
Corruption in law enforcement and politics has made it difficult to deal with drug trafficking and gang activity; with much of the money in Colombia tied into illegal activity, the gangs and cartels have political ties which keep them just outside the reach of the law.
Well, not anymore.
On May 15th, in a series of drug bust operations, Colombia’s police carried out the largest cocaine bust in the country’s history, seizing more than 17,500 pounds of the illicit drug from the powerful Úsuga Clan, a criminal organization involved in the trafficking of narcotics and violent crimes.
— Mindefensa Colombia (@mindefensa) May 15, 2016
Clan Úsuga is so large and powerful, it was identified as a major supplier of drugs in the U.S., deemed Colombia’s “largest and most influential drug trafficking group” by the U.S. Justice Department.
Colombian officials also confiscated several weapons during their drug bust, as well as arresting four men connected to the massive haul of cocaine. They did not, however, capture the man at the helm of the Úsuga Clan- Dario “Otoniel” Úsuga.
Úsuga is identified as the leader of Los Urabeños, another criminal organization considered extremely dangerous by Colombian authorities.
According to them, Los Urabeños is “a heavily armed, extremely violent criminal organization comprised of former members of terrorist organizations that did not demobilize as part of the Colombian government’s justice and peace process.”
Apprehending Úsuga is so important that the U.S. State Department has offered $5 million for information that lead to his arrest.
The trouble is that the people in Colombia are often too terrified to come forward. Gangs such as Clan Úsuga and Los Urabenos are known for enacting swift and deadly revenge when crossed. While that award would certainly make a drastic difference any anyone’s life, putting the lives of everyone you know and love at risk may not seem worth it.
Hopefully this is just the first step in overthrowing the power of Colombia’s drug cartels and gangs.
Should the U.S. become involved in the efforts to end drug trafficking in Colombia? Let us know what you think!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.