April 11, 2016 / 6:50 PM / 3 years ago

Colombian government doubles reward for gang leader to $1 million

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia has doubled the reward for information leading to the capture of Usuga Clan gang leader Dario Antonio Usuga to nearly $1 million, President Juan Manuel Santos said on Monday.

The Usuga Clan, also called the Urabenos, have ties to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel and smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars worth of cocaine out of the Andean country each year, according to law enforcement officials.

“We’re on the trail of the leaders of Usuga and its top boss, Otoniel,” Santos said, referring to the alias of Usuga. “We’re raising the reward for him to 3 billion pesos, double what it was.” He spoke after meeting with security officials.

Experts believe criminal gangs will be the country’s biggest security challenge in the coming years as conflicts with leftist rebels, who also participate in the drug trade, wind down.

Reporting by Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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