The most wanted – Pablo Escobar
Not many have dodged the bullets of the American government when it comes to drug trade. There is a group of people who say the U.S government has all powers to stop the drug inflow into the country. But the number of efforts taken by the governments all over the world to stop drug abuse is countless. A man who gave the international police a great challenge and ran his own drug empire was one among the very few who also had a golden heart. This is about Pablo Escobar, the drug mafia leader. If we have to introduce him like Iron man, he is a genius, billionaire, politician and a man who supports the poor.
Pablo Escobar was born at Antioquia, Colombia on 1949. His father was a farmer and his mother was a teacher. Since his childhood, owing to bad friends and neighbourhood, Pablo entered the crime industry from his school days itself. He helped smugglers by selling them tombstones while he was still at school. A little later he started stealing and hijacking cars sometimes with the help of his friends but only at rare cases. Not satisfied with the money he was getting because of these “small” crimes, he even performed kidnapping. Point to note is that he did all these while he was still in his teens. When we were teens, we were discussing whether the Undertaker really had nine lives.
Pablo Escobar’s drug industry entry:
In his early twenties, he entered the cocaine business because of the huge money involved there. He has already made a promise that before he reached the age of 22, he would be a millionaire. Pablo tried every way to make it happen. Pablo Escobar had enough money to bribe the entire country’s population. Once he was arrested on the way to Ecuador to buy cocaine paste. The judge was a stern one so he refused to take the bribe Pablo offered. But thanks to Pablo’s convincing skills, he bribed the officers who arrested him and all cases filed against him were removed.
Plata o Plomo?
Wondering what is that? That is what Pablo asks everyone after pointing a gun to their head. Plata o Plomo translates to “Silver or lead?”. Silver means the money he offers and lead refers to his bullets. Pablo’s idea was very simple. If he could not bribe them, he will kill them. A rough estimate tells that during his empire, Pablo has killed more than 200 judges who he couldn’t bribe. His kill count also includes more than 10 journalists, three presidential candidates, the minister of justice, an attorney general and about 1000 policemen. All these people have said no to his silver, so they faced the bullets.
The Drug Empire:
During his 30s, he was the man handling 80% of the drugs moving around in the United States. He was making 420 million dollars every single week. His drug cartel pushed 70 to 80 tons of high quality cocaine into the USA every month.
Pablo Escobar was easily making approximately 30 billion dollars a year. Please bear it in mind that this number also includes the 1-2 billion dollars of cash, the rats damage every month. He had that much money piled with him so that he spent almost 2500 dollars every month to buy rubber bands for his cash. In the list of international Billionaires by Forbes, Escobar made it to the list every year from 1987 to 1993. In 1989, he was declared as the seventh richest man in the world.
Escobar’s house was a 7.7 square mile estate. It had many amenities like Pablo’s own airport, a go-kart track and elite cars. He even had a zoo at his estate. The zoo had giraffes, hippopotamuses and even lions. That is the place where the richest people in Colombia came to party.
The Robin Hood:
Though he was declared as a criminal, a drug leader and a mafia, the poor people of Colombia celebrated him as their saviour. One of the primary reasons why Colombia produces world class football players is that Pablo built many parks and football stadiums in the country. This improved the passion of football in the country’s youngsters. He gave away a lot of money to churches, hospitals and charity organizations for which he was hailed as a hero by the poor.
Pablo Escobar wanted all the money and power he can possibly get. This made him to enter the Colombian Congress in 1982. But his political career continued only for two years. In 1984, he was removed from the Congress by Justice Minister Rodrigo Lara Bonilla. Bonilla was not given the “silver or lead?” question. Instead he was straight away killed by Escobar. His political stint made him plan to kill the presidential candidate Cesar Gaviria Trujillo. In 1989, he tried to kill him once but he narrowly escaped.
Escobar was not in the mood to give up. He planted a bomb in the aeroplane Trujillo travelled. This killed 110 people, but not Pablo’s main target Trujillo.
The escape plan:
Killing 110 people by bombing an aeroplane did not go well with the Colombian government. Special task forces were sent to arrest Pablo Escobar. For the first time, Pablo Escobar feared arrest because he did not want to be sent to the Unites States jail. Pablo once said “I will rather be in a grave in Colombia than a jail in the United States”.
Thankfully Pablo had many hiding places around Colombia. To move his men and money, Pablo Escobar used a bus which will never be doubted by the police. It is said that he himself drove that bus for security reasons.
Interesting facts about Pablo Escobar:
Once when Pablo Escobar was hiding in the mountain caves, his daughter was feeling very cold. He did not have any dry wood to burn. So he started burning cash to keep his daughter warm. It is estimated that around 2 billion dollars would have been used to keep the fire all night.
Pablo Escobar’s daughter was very much loved by him. Once she wanted a unicorn and her father did not want to say “no” to her. Pablo bought a horse and stapled a horn and wings on it and gifted it to his daughter. The horse later died due to infections.
Remember when we said Pablo Escobar had his own zoo in his estate. Once, the government took away all his beloved zebras. Pablo painted all donkeys to look like zebras.
Once, Colombian government threatened Pablo about sending him to the United States of America’s jail. Pablo Escobar gave the government a fair offer. He offered to pay off the entire country’s debt if they changed the law that will allow the government to send him to a different country.
( Also Read – Who is the Iron Lady in the world? )
The run ended for Escobar:
Pablo Escobar surrendered in the year 1991. He chose his jail “La Catedral”. He chose this prison because he designed it. The jail had a waterfall and also a football field. He was managing his drug cartel from the jail. Sensing this, the government wanted to change him from La Catedral. When they tried to move him away from La Catedral, Pablo escaped. He was hiding for some time and that is when he burnt money to keep his daughter warm. Finally, the special task force shot Pablo Escobar who was hiding in a middle-class home at Medellin.
On 2nd December 1993, Pablo Escobar was buried at the hilltop cemetery where thousands gathered and paid their final respect to their fallen Robin Hood. Though he was indulged in illegal activities, he had a heart of gold which only his family and the poor saw. Sometimes good people choose the wrong way and end up in the bad books of history. May he rest in peace.
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