Jhon Viáfara: Colombia extradites ex-footballer to US on drugs charges

Jhon Viáfara (centre)

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Jhon Viáfara was arrested in Cali, Colombia, in March last year

Former Colombian international footballer Jhon Viáfara has been extradited to the US on drug trafficking charges.

Mr Viáfara, 41, was arrested a year ago in the Colombian city of Cali in a joint operation involving Colombian police and US Drug Enforcement agents.

A court in Texas says he was a member of the Gulf Clan drug cartel and helped to smuggle cocaine into Central America and the US.

He has denied the charges.

In 2004, Jhon Viáfara helped his club, Once Caldas, cause a major upset by winning the Copa Libertadores title. He was named best player in the Americas in the same year.

He also played for English Premier League teams Portsmouth and Southampton and Spain’s Real Sociedad, before retiring in 2015.

The Gulf Clan – formerly known as the Úsuga Clan or Urabeños – has its power base in the Uraba region of Colombia, but its network extends across the country and beyond.

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