Colombian security forces have arrested the country’s most wanted drug smuggler Dero Antonio Usuga Ottonial, also known as the ‘drug lord’. Antonio was caught on Saturday from a rural area in the Urba area. President Ivan Duque called Antonio’s arrest a major victory. He compared it to the arrest of the notorious Colombian drug mafia Pablo Escobar three decades ago.
During a press conference, the Duke said it was the biggest action against drug trafficking in our country of this century. This can be compared to the fall of Pablo Escobar in the 1990s. He said the Colombian government was working on Otoniel’s extradition. Colombia has been caught in a drug trap for decades. Here one drug mafia ends and another rises.
America had kept a reward of Rs 37 crore
The US State Department had kept a reward of $5 million, or about Rs 37 crore, for giving information about Otonial. In 2009 Otoniel was sued in the US. He will now be produced before a New York federal court. Drugs are a big problem for America, due to which many people lose their lives every year. The US government reported in July that a record 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the country last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
America’s drugs biggest challenge
According to statistics, it has crossed the figure of 72000 deaths due to ‘drug overdose’ last year. “It’s a huge casualty,” said Brandon Marshall, a public health researcher at Brown University who closely tracks overdose cases. He said that the country was already grappling with cases of ‘drug overdose’ deaths but ‘Covid has exacerbated this crisis’. Experts say that the lockdown and other restrictions related to the pandemic have left people struggling with drug addiction and it becomes difficult for them to get their treatment.