At the height of his power in 1989, he was ranked seventh on Forbes’ list of the wealthiest people in the world
On this day in 1993, the Colombian security forces killed the head of the Medellin drug cartel, Pablo Escobar, 16 months after he escaped from prison.
I was carrying drugs
Escobar was a Colombian drug lord and smuggler. He is remembered in history as the most powerful and richest criminal.
At the height of his power in 1989, he was ranked seventh on Forbes’ list of the richest people in the world.
When he started his cocaine business, the drugs were originally transported to Miami in old plane tires. Even Pablo himself personally transported the goods several times.
On one occasion, he was arrested at the border and found goods. Pablo managed to bribe the judges and soon found himself free.
Then he decided never to transport drugs in person again. He hired pilots and pilots could earn millions of dollars per flight.
As the business developed, Escobar soon bought 15 new planes. The market was developing the fastest and most in the United States, so they needed new methods of smuggling.
Congressman and dealer
It is believed that the biggest mistake Pablo made was entering politics in 1982. Immediately after his candidacy for congressman, he began to build housing for the poor and provide them with health care.
The people considered him their Robin Hood and Pablo was elected congressman.
However, his political career did not last long, entering politics he gained media popularity, and thus attracted the police. Political opponents accused him of being a drug dealer and a criminal.
Under pressure from the United States, the Colombian government passed an extradition law that allowed Colombian citizens to be extradited to the United States and tried there. This marked the beginning of the war between the drug cartels and the government.
Rats ate between 10 and 20 billion dollars
Shortly after the extradition law was promulgated, the cartels began a brutal retaliation. It was announced in Medellin that anyone who kills a police officer will receive money from Pablo Escobar. Within two years, about 700 police officers were killed in Medellin alone.
During that time, the business was at its peak and the cartel sent tens of tons of cocaine to America every month, but in the meantime, they opened a new market – Europe. The goods would reach Spain by ship, where they were in contact with the Spanish Prime Minister, and then continue from Spain to the rest of Western Europe.
In the memoirs of Pablo’s brother Robert Escobar, it is described that their biggest problem at the time was storing money.
It arrived so much that they had nowhere to put it, so they kept it in warehouses and, according to Pablo’s brother, rats would eat between 10 and 20 billion dollars a year ?!
He once mentioned that they spent $ 3,000 a month on rubber bands with which they tied banknotes.
The largest cargo they managed to carry was 23,000 kilograms.
Escobar changed the constitution
After the narco-clan attacked the government, they became fugitives and hid in the jungle carrying bags of millions of dollars. The government located and destroyed the largest laboratory of the Medellin cartel, and police seized 13 tons of drugs.
In the following years, the war between Escobar’s cartel and the police was at its peak, buildings in the city were mined almost every day and many people were killed.
The climax was in 1989 when a van with 500 kilograms of explosives was brought to the building of the Colombian Secret Police – one part of the building collapsed, 52 police officers were killed and hundreds were injured.
Under pressure from Escobar, the government changed the constitution and banned extradition.
The deal was for Pablo to spend seven years in prison in Colombia. He agreed, but on the condition that he make a prison for himself. He bought a house on the mountain above Medellin and decided to stay there. The place was named “Cathedral”.
This private prison was filled with a luxury that was unthinkable at the time, and Escobar was guarded by his men. The place became the headquarters of his cartel where business partners were received and opponents were killed.
Film chase and execution
Police tried to transfer him to another prison, but Escobar escaped. Colombian police, the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and the CIA took part in the chase.
During the arrest, Escobar fled over the roofs of buildings avoiding bullets.
According to one story, Escobar shot himself in the head to avoid arrest. According to another, one of the thousands of bullets fired at him was fatal for him.
After Escobar’s death, a period of revival began for Medellin. The city has become safer, a lot of money has been invested in infrastructure, foreign companies have invested …
However, the drug trade did not stop because new drug dealers appeared. Colombia still ranks first in the world in cocaine exports.