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Clan Usuga drug kingpin killed in Colombia

AFP-JIJI

The top leader of the powerful Clan Usuga gang was killed in a police raid, authorities said Saturday, in another major blow to Colombia’s most important gang.

“Body blow to the Clan Usaga gang. Alias Lorenzo taken out in Uraba. Top gang leader and drug trafficker,” President Juan Manuel Santos said on Twitter.

Ruben Dario Avila, alias Lorenzo, was killed on Friday when police launched a raid on a ranch in Arboletes, Antioquia province, National Police Public Safety chief General Jorge Rodriguez told reporters.

The alleged drug lord was wanted on multiple homicide and conspiracy charges, Rodriguez said.

Last month two leaders of the gang were extradited to the United Staes where they face drug trafficking charges in Florida, Colombian authorities said Wednesday.

Arley Usuga Torres, the nephew of gang leader Dairo “Otoniel” Usuga, and Hector Mario Urdinola Arbelaez, who ran the gang’s operations in the western Colombia’s Valle del Cauca, were turned over to U.S. narcotics officers.

Authorities say Clan Usuga — which emerged after the mass demobilization of rightwing paramilitaries a decade — ships tons of cocaine from Colombia to Central America and the United States.

The South American country is the leading producer of coca, the raw material from which cocaine is processed.