[QODLink]
Americas
Colombian drug lord confirmed dead
President proclaims the death of drug kingpin nicknamed the "Knife" and believed to be behind at least 3000 killings.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2010 10:39 GMT
Police chief General Oscar said 'Cuchillo' likely drowned since an autopsy found no gunfire wounds on his body [Reuters]

One of Colombia's most wanted drug lords has been killed in an operation by police and the air force, President Juan Manuel Santos has said.

Santos announced at a news conference on Wednesday that "the king of killers has fallen", confirming the death of the man knicknamed "Cuchillo" (Knife) for using the weapon to mutilate his victims.

Cuchillo, whose real name was Pedro Oliverio Guerrero, died during a raid in southern Colombia on Christmas Day.

Two police officers were also killed during the operation, which began on December 24.

Santos called Guerrero's death "the greatest blow dealt to criminal organisations," and warned other criminals that they would face a similar fate.

On Tuesday, authorities said they found a body with characteristics matching those of Guerrero about 320km southeast of the capital, Bogota, but needed to conduct the necessary tests before confirming his identity.

Colombian authorities had offered a $2.5m reward for information leading to his capture. The money will be paid to several informants who helped with the investigation, Santos said.

Police director General Oscar Naranjo said Guerrero likely drowned, since an autopsy did not find gunfire or blade wounds on his body.

Guerrero was an ex-paramilitary leader who ran a drug gang called the Colombian Revolutionary Popular Antiterrorist Army.

The gang operated primarily in the eastern plains of Colombia between Bogota and the Venezuelan border, where they protected coca crops and drug trafficking routes in eastern Colombia, according to US officials.

Authorities found Guerrero with two pistols and a knife, which he reportedly used to slash the throats of his victims.

"That knife is a silent witness to at least 3,000 killings, ordered or executed, by this Colombian criminal who has finally fallen," Santos said.

Colombia remains the world's leading cocaine producer with both left-wing rebels and right-wing former paramilitaries involved in the drug trade.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list