Colombian police on Wednesday captured the country's most powerful drug lord known as "Don Mario," who authorities say left more than 3,000 deaths in the wake of his push to control the cocaine trade on the country's Caribbean coast.
Daniel Rendon was captured by 300 police commandos on a farm in the northwestern region of Uraba near the Panamanian border, a major launch pad for shipments of tons of cocaine bound for U.S. markets.
"They found him virtually like a dog, cowering, hugging a palm tree," Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos said on recounting details of the capture. Rendon, wearing a blue and brown T-shirt and gray sweat pants, arrived in Bogota on a Colombian police plane hours after the morning operation.
Rendon is wanted on charges of drug trafficking, murder and conspiracy. The Colombian authorities had offered a $2.5 million reward for his capture, which Santos said would be paid at least in part to informants.
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Rendon is also wanted on drug trafficking charges in the United States. Police commander Gen. Oscar Naranjo said Rendon had told him on the plane he was willing to collaborate with Colombian and U.S. authorities.
"I hope his lieutenants turn themselves in," Naranjo said.
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