Former Colombian drug-trafficking magnate pleads guilty in US | Crime News

Dairo Antonio Usuga David, often known as ‘Otoniel’, was chief of the Gulf Clan, one among Colombia’s largest paramilitary teams.

A former Colombian drug trafficker has admitted to overseeing an unlimited community of prison operations and cocaine smuggling, together with a violent paramilitary group often known as the Clan del Golfo or the Gulf Clan cartel.

Dairo Antonio Usuga David, higher often known as Otoniel, pleaded responsible to fees of drug distribution and working a unbroken prison enterprise earlier than a United States federal court docket in Brooklyn, New York, on Wednesday.

“Tons of cocaine had been moved with my permission or at my route,” he instructed the court docket.

“There was a number of violence with the guerrillas and the prison gangs,” he added, acknowledging that “in army work, homicides had been dedicated”.

Otoniel was as soon as one of the wished drug traffickers on the planet and was arrested by Colombian authorities in October 2021 after eluding seize for years. He was extradited to the US in Could 2022.

The Gulf Clan introduced violence and exploitation to areas of northern Colombia, utilizing brutal pressure to regulate main cocaine smuggling routes.

Prosecutors have accused Otoniel of smuggling “outrageous” quantities of cocaine into the US, and he faces a minimal sentence of 20 years in jail. As a part of an extradition cope with Colombia, US prosecutors agreed they might not search a life sentence in his case. A sentencing date has but to be determined.

The Gulf Clan, often known as the Gaitanist Self-Protection Forces, have enlisted 1000’s of recruits to conflict with Colombian authorities, paramilitary teams and rival gangs.

Otoniel admitted that the group administered “taxes” on cocaine produced, saved or transported by means of its territory by different teams. Prosecutors allege that he ordered the killing and torture of perceived enemies.

“With right now’s responsible plea, the bloody reign of essentially the most violent and important Colombian narcotics trafficker since Pablo Escobar is over,” Brooklyn US Legal professional Breon Peace stated in a press release.

Usuga’s defence lawyer Paul Nalven stated that his shopper was “very remorseful” about his position within the “cycle of violence”. Nalven said that Usuga acquired solely a fourth-grade training and was pulled into “guerrilla” warfare in Colombia when he was 16.

For years, drug trafficking has contributed to a legacy of violence that has touched the lives of tens of millions of Colombians, and authorities have used harsh measures to go after prison organisations just like the Gulf Clan.

Nevertheless, the militarised method has introduced blended outcomes and has helped gas allegations of human rights abuses by the federal government.

In a report launched in June detailing the nation’s practically six-decade civil battle, Colombia’s Reality Fee stated authorities drug insurance policies had extended the preventing. Greater than 450,000 individuals have been killed within the battle between authorities forces, paramilitary organisations, cartels and left-wing insurgent teams.

Below a coverage known as Plan Colombia, launched in 2000, the US poured cash and army help into the nation to fight left-wing rebels and drug cartels.

Colombia’s authorities technique shifted within the mid-2010s, with officers signing a 2016 peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the biggest insurgent group on the time.

Nonetheless, the unlawful cocaine commerce has remained outstanding in Colombia, the world’s largest producer of the drug. In 2022, the United Nations stated that the earlier yr’s crop of coca, the uncooked ingredient for cocaine, lined 204,000 hectares (500,000 acres) — the biggest space recorded in many years.

The Reality Fee’s report really useful sweeping modifications to Colombia’s drug insurance policies, and present President Gustavo Petro, a former member of an armed insurgent group, has pushed for negotiations with armed teams since his election in June 2022.

Earlier this month, Petro introduced that the federal government would lower its emphasis on pressured coca plant eradication, a staple of its anti-drug coverage for years.

Ten killed as gang bosses’ transfer sparks prison riot in Ecuador | Crime News

Ecuador has skilled eight jail riots which have left about 400 inmates lifeless since February 2021.

Ten inmates have been killed in a riot at a jail in Ecuador’s capital Quito, which authorities mentioned occurred because of the federal government’s determination to relocate three crime bosses to a high-security facility.

The jail riot and killings are the most recent problem for the nation’s jail system, during which some 400 inmates have been killed in gang-related violence since final 12 months, the jail authority mentioned.

The most recent unrest broke out on Friday at El Inca jail shortly after the federal government mentioned it was transferring inmates it suspected of being the masterminds behind earlier jail disturbances to a most safety jail.

One of many prisoners whose relocation sparked the violence, Los Lobos gang chief Jonathan Bermudez, had been liable for earlier killings at El Inca, in keeping with a press release from the president’s workplace.

The jail authority mentioned that “members of this felony group (Los Lobos) undertook violent reprisals” for the relocation of Bermudez to a different jail.

Police commander Victor Herrera informed reporters the jail had been secured, with heavy safety deployed as forensics personnel eliminated the our bodies of these killed. Herrera mentioned the reason for dying “gave the impression to be strangulation”.

Since February 2021, Ecuador has skilled eight jail massacres that left about 400 lifeless; most of the victims had been beheaded or burned.

The final gang-led jail riot was on November 8 in Quito, during which 5 inmates died.

Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso mentioned the nation wouldn’t be intimidated by gang leaders.

“We informed them that our hand wouldn’t tremble,” Lasso mentioned on Twitter of the gang leaders’ switch on Friday, warning of “the identical destiny for individuals who proceed with their makes an attempt to interrupt the peace of Ecuadorans”.

Lasso additionally thanked legislation enforcement businesses for restoring order to the jail and tackling what he described as “narco-terrorist leaders”.

Earlier this month, Lasso’s authorities relocated some 2,400 inmates, triggering an rebellion by gang members on the streets who went on taking pictures sprees and set off automobile bombs at fuel and police stations.

Eight individuals, together with 5 police members, had been killed through the assaults within the port metropolis of Guayaquil.

Lasso responded to these assaults by declaring a state of emergency and a night-time curfew within the provinces of Guayas, Esmeraldas and Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas. He additionally deployed troops to the three provinces, house to a 3rd of Ecuador’s 18 million individuals.

As soon as a comparatively peaceable neighbour of main cocaine producers Colombia and Peru, Ecuador has gone from being a drug transit path to an important distribution centre racked by drug violence.

Authorities blame the wave of violent crime on rival gangs with ties to Mexican cartels.


Salman Rushdie has lost sight in one eye after attack, says agent | Crime News

Agent says Salman Rushdie suffered ‘profound’ wounds in assault in August and has misplaced sight in a single eye and using a hand.

Salman Rushdie has misplaced sight in a single eye and using a hand following an assault on stage throughout a literary occasion in western New York in August, his agent stated.

Andrew Wylie instructed the Spanish language newspaper El Pais in an article revealed on Saturday that Rushdie, who’s 75 years previous, suffered a “brutal” assault that left him with “profound” wounds.

“He’s misplaced the sight of 1 eye … He had three critical wounds in his neck. One hand is incapacitated as a result of the nerves in his arm have been minimize. And he has about 15 extra wounds in his chest and torso,” Wylie stated.

The agent instructed the newspaper he couldn’t say whether or not Rushdie remained in a hospital or talk about his whereabouts.

“He’s going to dwell … That’s the necessary factor,” Wylie stated.

Rushdie, who had obtained a number of dying threats after the publication of his The Satanic Verses, was attacked simply as he was about to offer a lecture at Chautauqua Establishment in New York state on August 12.

The novelist was rushed to the hospital after sustaining extreme accidents within the assault, together with nerve injury in his arm, wounds to his liver, and the seemingly lack of an eye fixed, his agent stated on the time.

The assault got here 33 years after Iran’s Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, or non secular edict, calling on Muslims to assassinate Rushdie over the publication of The Satanic Verses.

Some Muslims noticed passages within the novel concerning the Prophet Muhammad as blasphemous.

Following Khomeini’s fatwa, Rushdie, born in India to a Muslim Kashmiri household, spent 9 years in hiding below British police safety.

Whereas Iran’s pro-reform authorities of President Mohammad Khatami distanced itself from the fatwa within the late Nineties, the multimillion-dollar bounty hanging over Rushdie’s head stored rising and the fatwa was by no means lifted.

Khomeini’s successor, Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, was suspended from Twitter in 2019 for saying the fatwa towards Rushdie was “irrevocable”.

Iran has denied involvement within the August assault.

The person accused of stabbing the novelist, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, has pleaded not responsible to second-degree tried homicide and assault prices.

He’s being held with out bail in a western New York jail.

The assault was alongside the traces of what Rushdie and his agent have thought was the “principal hazard … a random particular person popping out of nowhere and attacking,” Wylie instructed El Pais.

“So you may’t defend towards it as a result of it’s completely surprising and illogical,” he stated.