Colombian police kill leader of powerful drug gang

January 2, 2012 05:16


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BOGOTA - Colombian police killed the leader of a powerful drug cartel that supplied tonnes of cocaine to Mexican gangs, the government said on Sunday.

Police killed Juan de Dios Usuga, the head of the Urabenos criminal gang in the northwestern department of Choco, near the border with Panama.

Usuga had a bounty on his head of $2.5 million and was wanted by the United States for drug trafficking.

"The police put down in Choco alias Usuga, head of the Urabenos and captured various of his accomplices. What a good start to the year," President Juan Manuel Santos said in a message on Twitter.

The Urabenos are one of Colombia's main gangs, along with Los Rastrojos, Los Paisas and Las Aguilas Negras.

Colombia is one of the world's top producers of cocaine, and criminal gangs made up of former right-wing paramilitary groups and old cartels have become a major emerging threat to the nation of 46 million people.

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