Photo: Daniel "El Loco" Barrera
Colombian authorities on Tuesday handed over to U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents the man regarded as the Andean nation’s “last kingpin.”
Two police officers escorted Daniel “El Loco” Barrera when he was exhibited to the media, a session during which he said nothing, and afterwards they accompanied him to a van which took him to Bogota’s international airport.
Barrera appeared without his characteristic thick beard, dressed in dark pants, a short-sleeve polo shirt and a bulletproof vest. He wore an apparently calm expression.
U.S. federal courts in New York and Florida are asking for his extradition on charges of criminal conspiracy and drug trafficking, deeming him responsible for sending to their country hundreds of tons of cocaine over at least two decades.
Police say Barrera controlled the drug trafficking routes in eastern Colombia and sent the drug from there or Venezuela on ships to Central America, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Panama, from where it was sent on to the United States.
Also, authorities say that the capo bought coca from leftist rebels and maintained contacts with paramilitary bands that engaged in drug trafficking.