Sixteen years after the infamous Mr. Escobar was gunned down on a Medellín rooftop in a manhunt, Colombia is still wrestling with the mess he made.
Wildlife experts from Africa brought here to study Colombia’s growing numbers of hippos, a legacy of Mr. Escobar’s excesses, have in recent days bolstered the government’s plan to prevent them — by force, if necessary — from spreading
Colombian security forces Thursday shot and killed Pablo Escobar, the billionaire godfather of international cocaine trafficking, as he attempted to flee his hideout in the drug dealing center of Medellin, Colombia.
While on the phone with his son 16 years ago, Pablo Escobar stayed on the line just long enough for Colombian police to trace the call. Minutes later, the world's most violent and notorious drug lord was gunned down on a Medellín rooftop.
With cocaine, however, the stakes were far too high. ‘Suddenly everybody was carrying guns.’ Escobar’s hitmen would travel on motorbikes through the crowded streets of Medellín and Bogotá, seeking out enemies and gunning them down in broad daylight.
And the violent leader, Pablo Escobar, was a common street thief who masterminded the criminal enterprise that became known as the Medellin cartel.
Sebastian Marroqumn, who has changed his name from Juan Pablo Escobar, said his father burnt the notes when he realised daughter Manuela was suffering from hypothermia.
"Pablo was earning so much that each year we would write off 10% of the money because the rats would eat it in storage or it would be damaged by water or lost."
If that weren't enough to drop your jaw, Roberto adds that the cartel spent as much as $2,500 every month on rubber bands to "hold the money together."
in 1987 Escobar was thought to be the seventh-richest man on the planet, with a personal wealth of close to 25 billion dollars. A year before this assessment, he made headlines for offering to pay off Colombia’s·$13 billion national debt.
By 1978, Escobar was moving about 35 kilos of coke a month out of Medellin. He took over a Medellin newspaper, became influential in politics, and successfully ran for public office. He built houses for the poor, soccer fields, and a zoo for the public.
The son of a teacher and a peasant, his life of crime began early. While he was still in school he stole tombstones and sold them to smugglers from Panama. In the early 1970s he entered the cocaine trade. His ambition and ruthlessness amid the cocaine trade would make him one of the wealthiest, most powerful, and most violent criminals of all-time.
Escobar was responsible for the construction of a number of hospitals, schools and churches around the country. This strategy earned him a reputation as a champion of the poor, and helped him cultivate a network of supporters and informants.
Twenty years ago, Oscar Pareja was the star and captain of Independiente Medellin in Colombia, in the time when murderous drug czar Pablo Escobar terrorized the country.
One day in 1991, Pareja got a message. Escobar would like him and six of his Independiente teammates to come to Escobar's one-man, government-built luxury prison -- La Catedral -- and play a game. Escobar wouldn't be watching. He'd be playing against them.
Pablo Escobar, born December 1, 1949, in Antioquia, Colombia, entered the cocaine trade in the early 1970s. He collaborated with other criminals to form the Medellin Cartel and eventually controlled over 80% of the cocaine shipped to the U.S.
Pablo Escobar is thought to be responsible for the murder of hundreds of government officials, police, prosecutors, judges, journalists and innocent bystanders.