By Nick Miroff for The Washington Post. NECOCLI, Colombia — As the Colombian government nears a deal to end its 50-year conflict with FARC guerrillas, it is intensifying another war in the jungles here along the Caribbean coast, the stronghold of a shadowy drug organization known as Clan Úsuga.
For more than a year, U.S.-trained Colombian commandos in Black Hawk helicopters have been hunting the group’s leader, Dario Antonio Úsuga, a.k.a. Otoniel, in an urgent campaign to capture or kill him before a truce with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is signed.
Both the government and the traffickers know that a big share of Colombia’s billion-dollar cocaine trade will be up for grabs if FARC — whose rebellion runs on drug profits — goes out of business. Some of its 7,000 battle-hardened fighters may be looking for new jobs. Clan Úsuga will be hiring.