Ecuador's 'Pablo Escobar' drug kingpin extradited to US

36-year-old faces charges of moving more than 250 tonnes of Colombian cocaine

Afp February 25, 2018
Colombian authorities arrested Washington Prado (C), seen as Ecuador's "Pablo Escobar," in April 2017. PHOTO: AFP

A drug kingpin dubbed Ecuador's "Pablo Escobar" who was under arrest in Colombia was extradited to the United States early Saturday, local officials said here.

Washington Prado, also known as "Gerard," faces charges of moving more than 250 tonnes of Colombian cocaine from Ecuador's Pacific coast to Central America and beyond to the United States, Colombian prosecutors said in a statement.

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Colombian authorities captured the Prado in April 2017 and held him in a maximum security prison in Bogota.

Authorities compared Prado to the late Colombian kingpin Escobar -- killed in a 1993 police operation in Medellin, Colombia -- for his powerful role in Ecuador's drug trafficking world.

Prado has also been linked to bribing and murdering prosecutors and investigators in Ecuador.

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Prado tried to avoid extradition by claiming to be an ex-guerrilla with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

As part of the peace deal between Colombia and the FARC that ended a five-decade-long conflict, ex-guerrillas involved in drug trafficking could avoid extradition to the United States in exchange for reparations and a vow to abandon their life of violent crime.


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