Colombian drug kingpin and head of one of the most potent criminal networks ever put together, Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, was born on December 1, 1949, and died on December 2, 1993. He was sometimes referred to as “The King of Cocaine.” Throughout his career, Pablo Escobar amassed billions of cash, gave the go-ahead for the murder of hundreds of individuals, and was in charge of his empire, which included homes, airplanes, a private zoo, an army of troops, and experienced criminals.
Pablo Escobar – Early Life
Escobar was raised in Medellin, Colombia, born on December 1, 1949, into a lower-middle-class family. When he was younger, he was driven and ambitious, telling his friends and family that he hoped to lead Colombia one day. He began his criminal career as a street thug. Escobar allegedly stole gravestones, removed the names with a sandblaster, and sold them to dishonest Panamanians. Later, he advanced to auto theft. He discovered narcotics as his ticket to success and power in the 1970s. He would purchase coca paste in Bolivia and Peru, purify it, and ship it to the United States for retail sale.
Rise To Power
Fabio Restrepo, a local drug boss in Medellin, was killed in 1975, allegedly on Escobar’s instructions. Escobar extended his operations and assumed control of Restrepo’s company after stepping into the power vacuum. Soon, Escobar was in charge of all organized crime in Medellin and was in cost of transporting up to 80% of the cocaine into the US. He was chosen to serve in Colombia’s Congress in 1982. Escobar had achieved political, judicial, and economic dominance.
Juan Pablo and Manuela Escobar were the couple’s two children born after their 1976 marriage to 15-year-old Maria Victoria Henao Vallejo. Escobar was well-known for his extramarital romances and a propensity for young females. Virginia Vallejo, one of his girlfriends, became a famous television personality in Colombia. He remained married to Maria Victoria till his passing despite having extramarital encounters.
Pablo Escobar – Narcoterrorism
Escobar swiftly gained a reputation for being ruthless as the head of the Medellin Cartel, and an increasing number of officials, judges, and law enforcement officers publicly opposed him. Escobar developed a strategy for defeating the adversaries that he named Plata O Plomo (silver or lead). He would nearly always try to bribe any politician, judge, or policeman who stood in his way. He would issue a death warrant if it failed, occasionally implicating the victim’s family in the hit. Escobar is believed to have killed hundreds, if not thousands, of men and women. However, the actual number is unknown.
Escobar didn’t care about your social standing; if he wanted you out of the way, he would get you out. He was suspected of being behind the 1985 attack on the Supreme Court by the April 19 insurrectionist movement, which resulted in the deaths of numerous Supreme Court justices. He also allegedly ordered the assassinations of presidential candidates. On November 27, 1989, a bomb on Avianca flight 203 was detonated by Escobar’s cartel, leaving 110 people dead. A presidential contender who was the focus was not present. In addition to these well-known murders, Escobar and his group were also accountable for the deaths of countless judges, journalists, police officers, and even criminals who were part of their organization.
Height Of His Power
Escobar was one of the most influential people in the world by the middle of the 1980s, and Forbes magazine ranked him as the seventh wealthiest person. A private zoo, mansions, and apartments spread throughout Colombia, remote airstrips and planes for the transportation of drugs, and an army of soldiers and criminals were all part of his vast empire. His wealth was estimated to be in the range of $24 billion. Escobar had the power to execute anyone, anywhere, at any time.
He was a cunning crook who understood that his safety depended on his popularity among Medellin’s commoners. He, therefore, invested millions in housing for Medellin’s poorest residents as well as parks, schools, stadiums, and churches. The ordinary people adored Escobar because they perceived him as a local lad who had achieved success and was giving back to his town, proving that his strategy had been successful.
When Escobar and some of his companions were apprehended after being captured returning from a narcotics run to Ecuador in 1976, it was his first significant run-in with the law. The arresting cops were killed on Escobar’s command, and the case was quickly dismissed. Later, when Escobar was at the height of his power, it was nearly impossible for Colombian authorities to convict him due to his money and brutality. Whenever an effort was made to curtail his head, the perpetrators were bought off, assassinated, or otherwise neutralized. But the American government, which wanted Escobar extradited to face narcotics charges, was putting increasing pressure on Escobar to comply. To stop extradition, he had to exert every ounce of his strength.
The Colombian government and Escobar’s attorneys devised an intriguing plan in 1991 due to increased pressure from the United States. Escobar would surrender and get a five-year prison sentence. He agreed not to be extradited to the United States or any other country in exchange for building his prison. La Catedral was an opulent fortress prison with a soccer field, waterfall, Jacuzzi, and a complete bar. Escobar had also obtained the ability to choose his own “guards.” He commanded his dominion via the phone from inside La Catedral. In La Catedral, there were no additional detainees. As a result of treasure hunters searching for buried Escobar loot, La Catedral is now in ruins.
Pablo Escobar – On The Run
Everyone knew that Escobar was still running his business out of La Catedral, but in July 1992, it came to light that the drug lord had ordered the transport of a few rebellious employees, who were tortured and killed there. Even the Colombian government found this to be too much. Therefore arrangements were made to move Escobar to a regular jail. Escobar ran away and hid because he was worried about being deported. The local police and the US administration ordered a massive search. By the end of 1992, two groups were looking for him: the Search Bloc, a specialized Colombian task force trained by the United States, and “Los Pepes,” a covert group of Escobar’s foes funded by the Cali Cartel, his primary commercial adversary.
Pablo Escobar – Death
Using American equipment, Colombian security forces discovered Escobar on December 2, 1993, hiding in a house in a middle-class neighborhood of Medellin. Triangulating his whereabouts, the Search Bloc moved in and tried to apprehend him. However, Escobar resisted, and a firefight ensued. Escobar was later shot dead while attempting to flee from the building from the rooftop. Escobar was struck in the leg and body as well, but the fatal bullet entered via his ear, leading many to conclude that Escobar killed himself. Others think that one of the Colombian police officers shot the target.
Pablo Escobar – Legacy
After Escobar’s death, the Medellin Cartel was swiftly surpassed in strength by its rival, the Cali Cartel, which ruled until the Colombian government dismantled it in the mid-1990s. The Medellin underclass still views Escobar as a benefactor. Numerous books, films, and television shows have been about him, including “Escobar: Paradise Lost” and “Narcos.” The infamous felon who once controlled one of the biggest drug empires continues to fascinate many people.
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