Paper type: Essay Pages: 5 (1203 words)
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria (December 1, 1949– December 2, 1993), the head of Colombia’s Medellin Cartel, was an infamous and the most enthusiastic drug lord that the criminal world has actually ever known. He was harsh and callous, kept his own army of crooks, and was accountable for the murder of several countless people who occurred to stand in his method (The King of Coke). Pablo Escobar was born in Rio Negro near Medellin into a family of a farmer and a school teacher, and grew up in Envigado, a bad suburban area of Medellin (McFadden).
He started his criminal activities while he was still in high school and started to steal tombstones from graveyards which he then resold to Panamanian smugglers. Later on, he went on to steal vehicles before he lastly became involved in the drug company in 1970’s. Escobar’s gang smuggled coca paste from Peru and Bolivia, fine-tuned it, and then carried it to the United States (Minster). The Medellin Cartel Escobar became infamous in 1975 when he bought the murder of Fabio Restrepo, an influential drug lord.
It was by taking over Restrepo’s company that he was successful in considerably expanding his drug trade operations. A year later on, he married Maria Victoria Henao Vellejo and they had a son, Juan Pablo, and a daughter, Manuela. Nevertheless, Escobar had numerous adulterous affairs and liked especially teenage women (Minster). In 1976, Escobar was detained for trying to smuggle nearly forty pounds of drug from Ecuador.
He did not prosper in bribing the judge; however after having the officers that had jailed him murdered, the case versus him was dropped and he was released from custody (McFadden). It was then that Escobar initially showed his concept of handling government authorities frequently described as “plata o plomo” which can be equated as “silver or lead”: he had them either paid off or killed (Minster). If a political leader, a judge, or a cop stood in his way, his guys initially offered them cash to make them cooperative.
And those who refused to cooperate were soon murdered. Escobar was known for his extreme ruthlessness and was reported to personally execute some of his enemies (The Life of Pablo Escobar). By the early 1980s, Escobar headed a huge drug empire which came to be known as the Medellin Cartel. Escobar’s cartel controlled all criminal activities in Medellin and approximately eighty percent of the cocaine that entered into the United States.
After winning a seat in the Colombian Congress in 1982, Escobar became a very powerful criminal and political figure in the country (Minster). His political career, however, ended in 1984 when Colombia’s Justice Minister made his criminal record public (McFadden). Because of his fabulous wealth and ruthlessness, the Colombian government, despite being pressurized by the United States that sought his extradition, had always difficulty in bringing him to justice as Escobar had any officials leading the case against him killed or intimidated (Minster).
By the mid 1980s, no one in Colombia could be protected from the Medellin Cartel regardless of their rank. Escobar was behind the killing of Colombian presidential candidates; he is believed to have masterminded the siege of the Colombian Supreme Court in 1985 that resulted in the murder of several Supreme Court Judges; he was responsible for the bombing of Avianca Flight 203 in 1989 which targeted another presidential candidate who, as it later turned out, had canceled his flight. That bombing, however, killed 110 innocent passengers.
Apart from all those high-profile murders, Escobar is held responsible for ordering the assassination of hundreds of policemen, journalists, judges, as well as dozens of uncooperative gangsters inside the Medellin Cartel (Minster). Fabulous wealth and charity Escobar was a quick learner and possessed brilliant managerial characteristics. These qualities helped him expand his criminal corporation to both Americas and made him one of the wealthiest people in the world. Escobar occupied the seventh position on the Forbes’ 1989 list of the world’s richest men.
He owned a luxurious Miami Beach mansion, an apartment complex in Florida that was worth about $8. 3 million, a 7,000-acre estate in Colombia for which he paid $63 million, a private zoo with hundreds of animals, and other property. He surrounded himself with expensive paintings and Chinese porcelain (McFadden). Escobar also had his own fleet of planes and airstrips which he used for transporting cocaine across both Americas. By 1990, Escobar’s cartel controlled about sixty percent of the cocaine production in Colombia and eighty percent of the US cocaine market (McFadden).
All in all, his personal wealth was estimated at $24 billion (Minster). Wanted by many world governments for drug trafficking and murders, Escobar was very popular among the common people of Medellin. He was aware that his life and criminal activities would be much safer if local inhabitants loved and supported him. That is why he spent tens of millions on building parks, schools, soccer stadiums, and even houses for the poor. He often distributed money to those in need and sponsored the construction of several churches in Medellin.
This strategy proved successful and the inhabitants of Medellin were ready to do everything to protect Escobar and his activities from the Colombian government and rival criminal gangs (Minster). On the run In 1991, Colombia’s government was increasingly pressurized to extradite Escobar to the United States where he would face drug charges. However, Escobar’s lawyers and government officials reached an agreement according to which the most wanted drug lord would surrender and serve a five year sentence.
In return, the government would allow him to spend this term in his own prison and would not extradite him to the US or other countries. The luxurious prison in which he was confined was called La Catedral (Minster). Escobar continued to preside over the Medellin Cartel from his prison using cellular phones and computers. He had his own guards and the airspace over his elegant fortress was guarded by aviation authorities. When in 1992 all of these facts were made public, the Colombian government decided to transfer him to a regular prison. But Escobar feared that the government could extradite him and escaped.
At large, the drug lord began a crusade against his traitors and rivals (McFadden). As a result, a massive manhunt began that was also supported by the United States Government (Minster). The main organizations that led the search for Escobar were the Search Bloc and the “Los Pepes”. The former was a special Colombian police unit trained by American specialists, and the latter was financed by the Cali Cartel, Escobar’s bitter enemy, and included close friends and family members of all those that Escobar’s cartel had murdered (Watson, 1993).
On December 2, 1993, Escobar was located in Medellin and the police unit tried to arrest him. However, believing he could escape the police again, Escobar and his bodyguard began to fight back. As a result of a prolonged shootout, Escobar was cornered and killed on the rooftop (Fedarko, 1993). After Escobar’s death, the Medellin Cartel collapsed and Colombia’s cocaine market went under the control of the Cali Cartel. Many poor inhabitants of Medellin seemed to be the only people who lamented the death of Pablo Escobar, their benefactor (Minster).
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Pablo Escobar. (2017, Jan 17). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/pablo-escobar-essay