Image copyright AFP
Colombia’s most-wanted drug trafficker has been captured by police in San Antonio de Los Milagros, Cali.
Otoniel Gutiérrez Gacha was believed to have been responsible for the death of 1,500 soldiers and police officers and more than 2,000 kidnappings.
He had also been involved in organised crime and inter-generational trafficking of cocaine and other drugs.
He had earlier refused offers of safe passage through the country.
Otoniel was also known as “Chameleon”, “Doomsday”, “Saint Jones” and “Macaco”.
“He was captured without violence, but carrying large amounts of drugs,” the National Police said in a statement.
“The seizure of these illicit profits and, most importantly, of the gang which has been defrauded of these revenues will serve as a major blow to the transnational criminal group,” it added.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Otoniel had appeared in several videos
The 62-year-old, who is from the Cocuy province in southern Colombia, used many aliases and acts as a front for his drug trafficking activities.
Otoniel had been on the authorities’ radar for a number of years but was able to evade arrest and had fled to an undisclosed location in Cali.
He was captured on Thursday while trying to flee a house where he had held out against police, sources said.
Sources said he had been trailed for several months and had even modified his appearance.
After being put in charge of a cocaine production facility in the south of the country he reportedly built a coastal retreat “so that he would not be recognised”.
He has been the subject of various Government campaigns to capture him.
In 2014 he was believed to have been fighting for the Colombian islands of San Andres and Santa Catalina.
In 2012 he had fought for ownership of a cargo ship abandoned in the Caribbean Sea in 1989, which was allegedly used to transport drugs between Colombia and Panama.