Colombia extradites 'drug lord'

Diego Montoya, alleged to have headed Colombia's top drugs cartel, to face US court.

    Montoya was arrested by Colombian authorities
    in 2007 after a long manhunt [AFP]

    Montoya will make his first appearance in a Miami federal court on Monday, the US justice department said in a statement.

    "This extradition means the end of the Norte del Valle cartel," Oscar Naranjo, national police chief of Colombia, said on Friday.

    "All of its major leaders have been caught or killed."

    Smuggling continues

    Montoya was captured last year in the Colombian region of Valle del Cauca after a long manhunt that ended when police raided his farmhouse and found him hiding in a ditch.

    Another key Norte del Valle leader, Wilber Varela, was found shot dead in Venezuela early this year after a gunfight among rival smuggling organisations, while his brother, Eugenio, was also extradited to the US earlier this year on charges of cocaine trafficking, Reuters reported.

    Colombia has extradited hundreds of drug suspects to the US, however exports of cocaine from the country remain at about 600 tonnes a year, the United Nations has said.

    Colombia's cocaine trade is now splintered among far smaller groups and most of the trade and the ensuing violence involves Mexican cartels.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?