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article imageColombian security forces kill top drug trafficker: president

By AFP     Aug 31, 2017 in World

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday said security forces had killed the second-in-command of the Gulf Clan, the country's foremost drug gang.

Writing on Twitter, Santos added authorities would elaborate on the circumstances of the killing of Roberto Vargas Gutierrez, alias "Gavilan," who had been sought for a 500 million pesos ($170,000) reward.

The Gulf Clan, which accounts for some 70 percent of Colombia's cocaine production, was born from the remnants of an outlawed right-wing paramilitary group which fought rebels during the country's half-century civil conflict.

The paramilitaries were officially disbanded in 2006, but authorities say their members are still making money from drugs and violence.

Its leader, Dairo Antonio Usuga, alias Otoniel, is the most wanted man in the country. The US has placed a $5 million bounty on him.

Colombia is the world's leading coca leaf grower and also the biggest source of cocaine, producing 866 tons in 2016, according to the UN.

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