At its peak, Escobar argued that only the pope was stronger than him in the world.
"Wait here, I'll just jump for the car, then follow me," a passerby told driver Hernan Urley as we stopped next to him and asked him where the house on the roof of which Pablo was killed by Colombian special police in 1993 Escobar, the leader of the Medellin cartel and one of the most famous mobsters of all time.
In Medellin, most people quickly come to the rescue when Pablo Escobar is mentioned, and the man also took some time to bring us in front of the house in the Los Pinos district, which became famous after Escobar was killed on its roof. Eight Colombian soldiers shot him with more than 300 bullets, and in the end, like the hunters at the big booty, they took pictures next to his corpse.
“People quickly recorded the number of the house where he died and played the lottery. They all hit, ”Hernan assured me quite seriously. Pablo Escobar was synonymous with money and fame, although acquired very suspiciously. Already his grandfather was involved in smuggling when he carried alcohol in coffins across the border instead of the deceased.
Pablo was just finishing the shop. Instead of alcohol, he started smuggling cocaine and soon became one of the richest people in the world. He was otherwise a diligent student at school. His classmate Cesar Tobon Escobar, despite not having the same last name, told me: “We went to primary school together for two years. He was a conscientious student, as his mother was a distinguished teacher. When he got rich, he took her and his colleagues to his hacienda several times. Until her death, she claimed that he was not a criminal. "
Among the richest in the world
In 1989, Escobar was ranked among the ten richest people in the world by Forbes magazine. His fortune was estimated at $ 25 billion. At the height of the smuggling, he smuggled 80 tons of cocaine a month from Colombia to the United States. However, he started by smuggling cocaine paste from Peru to Colombia, making pure cocaine from it, and then smuggling it to the United States. Cars were soon replaced by transport planes. His cousin Jaime Gaviria, in charge of public relations in the Medellin cartel, said in a French documentary about Escobar: “When the mafia gains economic power, it turns into a social reality. By economic power, I mean money, which means everything. Money becomes God and connects you to everyone in society, and people think this is something completely normal. Suddenly, everyone wanted to be friends with Pablo Escobar. "
These were the times when he himself said that only the Pope was stronger in the world than him.
Price list of Pablo Escobar
After visiting the building on the roof of which he died, the path with Hernan led us to the Pablo Escobar district. The subtitle spoke of people enjoying it in peace. Escobar built the 5,000-seat area when he entered politics and promised to wipe out the settlements of extreme poverty in Medellin. People are still grateful to him today. When he died, he was accompanied on his last journey by a 25,000-strong crowd. Every year on the day of his death on December 2, they still make a pilgrimage to his grave. "It used to be dangerous to walk around the village," Hernan said. “When Escobar declared war on the authorities and rival cartels, strangers were shot in poor areas without the slightest hesitation. Today, delinquents need the approval of the head of the local mafia to liquidate. Pablo Escobar paid $ 1,500 for the killed policeman and several times more for the boss. ”The infamous mobster sat in one of the bars in the square in Envigad, most often near Chaplin, and paid people.
Pablo builds a lavish prison
After visiting these points, the path led us high up the hill, to the famous El Catedral prison, where Pablo was able to close himself. His life was already so endangered that he decided to surrender to the authorities, and before that he built a luxurious prison in the hills above Medellin. From there he was able to observe his family in the city with a telescope. The prison is actually a hamlet with a church and buildings. In the most beautiful of them, overlooking the valley, Escobar continued to run his business. It had a disco, fitness, football field, was visited by business partners and beauties. When news of the lavish prison reached the public, the government wanted to relocate him, but he escaped in time. He also ended his life on the run.
There are two stories about Pablo's death. The official says he was killed by Colombian special police officers, and the family claims he shot himself, as he has always said he prefers a grave in Colombia to a U.S. prison. He came to power precisely because the government wanted to extradite him to the United States.
In 2006, two days after his mother’s death, relatives exhumed Escobar’s remains and proved in front of cameras with a skull that he had indeed shot himself.
Entering politics is said to be his biggest mistake. With the support of the poorest Colombian voters, he even made his way to the Colombian Congress. He was assassinated when he was confronted by Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla. Presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan, who has publicly branded him a drug dealer, ended up the same.
Escobar's son Juan Pablo, who changed his name to Sebastian Marroquia after his father's death and fled to Argentina with his family in 1995, apologized to the sons of both deceased in the documentary My Father's Sins last year and met them in person. Together, they sent a message to the Colombian people that the past is behind them and that we need to look to the future. Pablo Escobar became a myth with his death. His fellow citizen, the great Colombian sculptor and painter Fernando Botero depicted his death in a painting and donated it to the Museum of the Province of Antioquia, whose capital is Medellin. They made films about the mobster and wrote many books.