International TradeInternational OrganizationForeign PolicyInternational ConflictThe Global EconomyCriminal Justice

Colombian Drug Lord Captured

Colombian authorities recently captured drug kingpin Dairo Antonio Úsuga, better known as Otoniel. The arrest of the head of the Clan del Golfo drug cartel was no easy feat; it involved hundreds of Colombian troops who were aided with helicopters, drones, and navy vessels along with American and British intelligence.

The drug lord has been on the lam for nearly a decade with the U.S. offering a 5 million reward for information leading to his capture. Over the last several months there has been a renewed desire to apprehend the cartel boss due to increased levels of cocaine production.

Who was captured and why?

INSTRUCTORS: click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.


News Articles:

Colombia’s president hails capture of cartel boss Dairo Antonio Úsuga

The Guardian

October 24, 2021

Colombian drug lord Otoniel captured by police in biggest arrest since Escobar

The Daily Telegraph

October 25, 2021

Colombia captures its ‘most-feared’ drug lord Dairo Antonio Usuga


October 24, 2021

Colombia has captured one of the world’s most wanted drug lords, Dairo Antonio Úsuga


October 24, 2021

News Articles (Analysis):

Colombian drug lord Otoniel to be extradited to US


October 24, 2021

Otoniel: Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured


October 24, 2021

Drug kingpin Otoniel captured by Colombian armed forces

The Jerusalem Post

October 24, 2021

Colombia’s most wanted drug lord captured in jungle raid


October 23, 2021


Writing: What is the significance of the capture of Dairo Antonio Úsuga?  

Debate: What is the best way to address international criminal behavior?  

Poll: Should the U.S. and international community provide more assistance to countries to combat the drug trade?  

Short Answer: Will the arrest of drug kingpin Dairo Antonio Úsuga have any impact on the war on drugs?


An estimated 70% of the world’s cocaine comes from Colombia. (T/F)

Drug king pin Iván Duque was recently arrested and will be extradited to the U.S. (T/F)

The U.S. had a 5 million reward for information leading to the capture of Dairo Antonio Úsuga. (T/F)

Which of the following were used to aid in the capture of Otoniel?

a. Thousands of troops.

B Aircraft carriers.

c. Drones.

d. Nuclear submarines.

Experts believe the arrest of Otoniel will lead to what in Colombia?

a. The elimination of drug trafficking and criminal behavior.

b. Someone taking his place with little impact on the drug trade.

c. A desire to legalize cocaine and other narcotics.

d. Increased support for rebels and the causes they are fighting for.

The Clan del Golfo cartel is involved in the following activities EXCEPT.

a. The drug trade.

b. Human smuggling.

c. Counterfeiting.

d. Extortion.

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