Pablo Escobar is often known as the ‘King of coke’ was a notorious Colombian drug lord. He was considered as the most flagrant, influential, and richest criminal in the history of cocaine marketing. The ‘Medellin Cartel’ was formed by him in collaboration with other criminals to ship cocaine to the American market. The 1970s and 1980s saw Pablo Escobar and the ‘Medellin Cartel’ enjoying near-monopoly in the cocaine smuggling business in the U.S. shipping over 80% of the total drug smuggled in the country. He earned billions of dollars and by the early 90s. His known estimated net worth was $30 billion.
The earnings sum up to around $100 billion when money buried in various parts of Colombia are included. In 1989 Forbes mentioned him as the seventh wealthiest person in the world. He led an extravagant life with the fortune he made. His empire included four hundred luxury mansions across the world, private aircraft, and a private zoo that housed various exotic animals. He also had his own army of soldiers and seasoned criminals. While his vast empire was built on murders and crimes, he was known for sponsoring soccer clubs and charity projects.
Pablo Escobar was a Colombian drug lord whose ruthless ambition, until his death, implicated his wife, daughter, and son in the notorious Medellin Cartel.
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a Colombian drug trafficker who eventually controlled over 80 percent of the cocaine shipped to the U.S., earning him the rank of one of Forbes Magazine’s 10 wealthiest people in the world. Escobar entered the cocaine trade in the early 1970s, collaborating with other criminals to form the Medellin Cartel. He earned popularity by sponsoring charity projects and soccer clubs, but later, terror campaigns that resulted in the murder of thousands turned public opinion against him.
Pablo Escobar Bio/ Wiki[table id=1208 /]
Family, Education & More
Pablo Escobar was born on 1 December 1949, in Rionegro, in the Antioquia Department of Colombia. He was the 3rd of seven children of the farmer Abel de Jesus Dari Escobar Echeverri, with his wife Hilda de Los Dolores Gaviria Berrio, an elementary school teacher. Raised in the nearby city of Medellin, Escobar is thought to have begun his criminal career as a teenager, allegedly stealing gravestones and sanding them down for resale to local smugglers.
His brother, Roberto Escobar, denies this, instead claiming that the gravestones came from cemetery owners whose clients had stopped paying for site care and that he had a relative who had a monuments business. His son, Sebastian Marroquin, claims his father’s foray into crime began with a successful practice of selling counterfeit high school diplomas, generally counterfeiting those awarded by the Universidad Autonoma Latinoamericana of Medellin. Escobar studied at the University for a short period but left without obtaining a degree.
He eventually became involved in many criminal activities with Oscar Benel Aguirre, with the duo running petty street scams, selling contraband cigarettes, fake lottery tickets, and stealing cars. In the early 1970s, prior to entering the drug market, Escobar acted as a thief and bodyguard, allegedly earning US$100,000 by kidnapping and holding a Medellin executive for money. He began working for Alvaro Prieto, a contraband smuggler who operated around Medellin, aiming to fulfill a childhood ambition to have COL $1 million by the time he was 22. He is known to have had a bank deposit of more than US$3 million when he was 26.
Pablo Escobar Net Worth
Аt the time of death, Раblо Еѕсоbаr’ѕ nеt wоrth wаѕ еѕtіmаtеd tо bе $30 bіllіоn. Моѕt оf thіѕ money саmе frоm thе ѕаlе оf сосаіnе.[table id=1209 /]
Іtѕ rероrtеd thаt hіѕ Меdеllіn Саrtеl uѕеd tо brіng bаnk аrоund $70 mіllіоn еvеrу dау ѕіnсе thеу соuld dіѕtrіbutе аrоund 15 tоnѕ оf сосаіnе іn а ѕіnglе dау. Меdеllіn Саrtеl соntrоllеd nеаrlу 80% оf аll сосаіnе ѕоld оut іn thе wоrld.
Height of His Power
By the mid-1980s, Escobar was one of the most powerful men in the world, and Forbes magazine listed him as the seventh richest. His empire included an army of soldiers and criminals, a private zoo, mansions, and apartments all over Colombia, private airstrips and planes for drug transport, and personal wealth reported to be in the neighborhood of $24 billion. Escobar could order the murder of anyone, anywhere, anytime.
He was a brilliant criminal, and he knew that he would be safer if the common people of Medellín loved him. Therefore, he spent millions on parks, schools, stadiums, churches, and even housing for the poorest of Medellín’s inhabitants. His strategy worked—Escobar was beloved by the common people, who saw him as a local boy who had done well and was giving back to his community.
Wife, Children/ Daughter, and Son
In 1976, Escobar married 15-year-old Maria Victoria Henao. The couple had two children together: a son, Juan Pablo, and a daughter, Manuela. Today Escobar’s son is a motivational speaker who goes by the name Sebastian Marroquin. Marroquin studied architecture and published a book in 2015, Pablo Escobar: My Father, which tells the story of growing up with the world’s most notorious drug kingpin. He also asserts that his father had committed suicide.
“My father’s not a person to be imitated,” Marroquin said in an Agence France-Presse interview. “He showed us the path we must never take as a society because it’s the path to self-destruction, the loss of values, and a place where life ceases to have importance.”
Crimes & Murders
- In ‘The Accountant’s Story: Inside the Violent World of the Medellín Cartel’ Roberto Escobar discussed how an obscure and simple middle-class Pablo Escobar rose to become one of the richest men under the Sun.
- Roberto Escobar used to keep track of all the money earned by Pablo Escobar as his accountant. At its peak when ‘Medellin Cartel’ smuggled 15 tons of cocaine daily to the U.S. worth over half a billion dollars, Pablo and his brother purchased rubber bands worth $1000 per week to wrap the cash bundles. About 10% of the money stored in their warehouses was lost every year due to spoilage by rats.
- Pablo entered the drug trade in the 1970s and developed his cocaine operation in 1975. He himself used to fly a plane between Colombia and Panama for smuggling the drug to the U.S.
- In 1975, after he returned to Medellin from Ecuador with a heavy load, he was arrested along with his men. Thirty-nine pounds of white paste was found in their possession. He failed in an attempt to bribe the judges of his case and later killed the two arresting officers resulting in the dropping of his case. Soon he started applying his tactics of either bribing or killing to deal with the authorities.
- Earlier, he used to smuggle cocaine in old tires of planes and a pilot would receive $500,000 per flight. Later when its demand in the U.S. escalated, he arranged for additional shipments and alternative routes and networks including California and South Florida.
- In collaboration with Carlos Lehder, he developed Norman’s Clay in the Bahamas as the new island trans-shipment point. Between 1978 and 1982, this point remained the main route of smuggling for the Medellin Cartel’.
- He shelled out several million dollars and purchased 7.7 square miles of land which includes his estate ‘Hacienda Napoles’.
- The mid-1980s saw him at the peak of his power smuggling about 11 tons of cocaine per flight to the U.S. According to Roberto Escobar, Pablo Escobar also employed two remote-controlled submarines to smuggle cocaine.
- In 1982, the ‘Colombian Liberal Party’ elected him to the ‘Chamber of Representatives of Colombia’ as an alternate member. He represented the Colombian government officially at the swearing ceremony of Felipe Gonzalez in Spain.
- Another allegation against Escobar was that he backed the left-wing guerrillas of the ‘19th April Movement’ (M-19) who stormed the Colombian Supreme Court in 1985. Many of the judges on the court were murdered and files and papers were destroyed at a time when the court was considering Colombia’s extradition treaty with the United States The treaty would have allowed the country to extradite drug lords to the United States for prosecution.
- As his network expanded and gained notoriety, he became infamous worldwide. By that time the ‘Medellin Cartel’ controlled a major portion of drug trafficking covering the United States, Spain, Mexico, Dominic Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and other countries of Europe and America. Rumors that his network reached Asia were also doing the rounds.
- His policy to deal with the Colombian system that encompassed intimidation and corruption was referred to as ‘Plata o plomo’. Though literally it means ‘silver or leads’ in his dictionary, it meant either accept ‘money’ or face ‘bullets’. His criminal activities included killings of hundreds of state officials, civilians and policemen, and bribing politicians, judges, and government officials.
- By 1989 his ‘Medellin Cartel’ was in control of 80% of the cocaine market in the world. It was generally believed that he was the chief financier of the Colombian football team ‘Medellín’s Atlético Nacional’. He was also credited for developing multi-sports courts, football fields, and aiding children’s football team.
- Although he was considered an enemy of the Colombian government and the U.S., he was successful in creating goodwill among the poor people. He was instrumental in building schools, churches, and hospitals in western Colombia and also donated money for housing projects of the poor. He was quite popular in the local Roman Catholic Church and the locals of Medellin often helped and protected him including hiding him from authorities.
- After the murder of Luis Carlos Galan, the Cesar Gavitis led administration acted against him. The government negotiated with him to surrender on the condition of a lesser sentence along with favorable treatment during his imprisonment.
- In 1989, he was accused of getting Luis Carlos Galan, a Colombian presidential candidate, assassinated. He was also accused of the bombings at the ‘DAS Building’ in Bogota and at the Avianca Flight 203.
- In 1991, he surrendered to the Colombian government and was kept in La Catedral that was converted into a private luxurious prison. Before he surrendered the newly approved Colombian Constitution prohibited extradition of Colombian citizens which was suspected to be influenced by Escobar and other drug mafias.
- In July 1992, after finding that Escobar was operating his criminal activities from La Catedral, the government tried to shift him to a more conventional jail. However, he came to know of such a plan through his influence and made a timely escape.
- The U.S. ‘Joint Special Operations Command’ and ‘Centra Spike’ jointly started hunting him in 1992. ‘Search Bloc’ a special Colombian task force was trained by them for this purpose.
- Co-ordination among ‘Search Bloc’, the Colombian and U.S. intelligence agencies, and ‘Los Pepes’ through intelligence sharing so that ‘Los Pepes’ to bring down Escobar and his remaining few allies.
Death and Legacy
On December 2, 1993, Colombian security forces—using U.S. technology—located Escobar hiding in a home in a middle-class section of Medellín. The Search Bloc moved in, triangulated his position, and attempted to bring him into custody. Escobar fought back, however, and there was a shootout. Escobar was eventually gunned down as he attempted to escape on the rooftop. Although he was also shot in the torso and leg, the fatal wound passed through his ear, leading many to believe that Escobar committed suicide. Others believe one of the Colombian policemen fired the bullet.
With Escobar gone, the Medellín Cartel quickly lost power to its rival, the Cali Cartel, which remained dominant until the Colombian government shut it down in the mid-1990s. Escobar is still remembered by the poor of Medellín as a benefactor. He has been the subject of numerous books, movies, and television series, including “Narcos” and “Escobar: Paradise Lost.” Many people remain fascinated by the master criminal, who once ruled one of the largest drug empires in history.
With Authorities Closing In, A Firefight With Escobar And His Bodyguard, Álvaro De Jesús Agudelo (Alias “El Limón”), Ensued. The Two Fugitives Attempted To Escape By Running Across The Roofs Of Adjoining Houses To Reach A Back Street, But Both Were Shot And Killed By Colombian National Police.
The Escobar Family Has Lived In Argentina Since The 1990S.
The Real-life ‘narcos’ Character Led A Mostly Quiet Life. In Narcos, Escobar’s Wife Goes By Tata A Nickname Used For The Drug Kingpin’s Real Wife, Maria Victoria Henao. Escobar And Henao Married In 1976 When She Was 15 Years Old (He Was 26 At The Time) And Remained Together Until His Death In 1993.
Pablo Escobar Date Of Death: 2 December 1993