It is quite normal for people to idolize celebrities, especially those in the sports and entertainment industry who bring sunshine into our world. However, we have seen quite a good deal of people who gained popularity for negative reasons, one of them is Pablo Escobar of Colombia. Pablo was nicknamed “King of Cocaine” due to his successful deals on transportation, smuggling, and crafts in cocaine. He made a name throughout his days as a criminal until his death. The drug lord managed his Empire so well that his tactics seemed indestructible until 1993 when he finally met his doom.
Pablo Escobar’ Early Life and Family Background
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a drug Lord, narcoterrorist, and a renowned criminal who according to reports smuggled about 80% of cocaine into the United States of America from 1975 to 1993. He was born on December 1, 1949, at Antioquia, Rionegro in Colombia. Farming was his father’s (Abel de Jesus) occupation and his mom (Hemilda de Los Dolores Gaviria Berrio) was an elementary school teacher until her death in 2016.
Pablo was born into a large family where he was the third. While growing up, the cocaine king was involved in tons of criminal activities – he had numerous records of theft and smuggling and got involved in purloining of gravestones in a cemetery and reselling them for money.
He learned most of his crafts from Oscar Benel Aguirre who taught him acts like street scams, selling of contrabands including fake lottery tickets and theft of cars. Pablo was given the opportunity to go to school; however, he dropped out of Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana of Medellin.
What We Know About His Cocaine Empire
Pablo Escobar had big ambitions and his quest to get rich fast had him set a goal of having $1 million before hitting 22 years. In other to achieve his goal, he started working as a contraband smuggler for Alvaro Prieto. He later began to develop his cocaine operation in 1975, flying out aircrafts several times; majorly between his home Colombia and Panama, along numerous smuggling routes into the US. The drug baron later acquired bigger airplanes; the planes were 15 in number with an additional six helicopters and a Learjet which were his major means of transportation.
A few years after he began deals in the United States of America, there was a rise in demand for cocaine which led to him increasing his supply, organizing additional smuggling routes, shipments, and distribution networks in California, South Florida, as well as other parts of the US. Pablo Escobar had a cartel co-founder Carlos Lehder who collaborated with him to develop a new trans-shipment point in the Bahamas. He soon became the King in Medellin and sooner than anyone could imagine, his cartel earned a name; Medellin Cartel. The narcoterrorist aged in the business and so did his income increase as he crafted more devious ways of dealing with the authorities.
Pablo Escobar’s Modus Operandi in Smuggling Cocaine
His modus operandi included buying the cocaine paste in Peru and refining them in a lab in Medellín. His debut trip was just an experiment that involved the purchase of a paltry 30 pounds of paste in what was recorded as the initial step towards developing his empire. The cocaine was first smuggled in the tires of old planes, and each pilot can deliver as much as $500,000 worth of cocaine per flight.
At a point in the business, it was estimated that about 70 to 80 tons of cocaine were smuggled from Columbia to the US monthly. During the middle of the 1980s which was the drug baron’s height of power, the Medellín Cartel was transporting up to 11 tons per flight in jetliners to the US mixed with fish paste and dispatched via boats. In addition to using planes, Pablo Escobar employed two small submarines for the transportation of enormous loads. All these were revealed by his brother Roberto Escobar in the book titled “Escobar.”
When Pablo Escobar and his gang were caught in police net in May 1976 for possession of white paste, the Narcotic King tried using bribery to free his men, when he eventually failed; Pablo ordered the murder of the two arresting officers which led to the case being dropped. This eventually set his pattern of dealing with the authorities – bribery or murder.
What are the Facts and Speculations About His Death?
Pablo Escobar was just making another attempt to elude the Search Bloc when he met his final demise in a shootout on the 2nd of December 1993; a day after his 44th birthday. This occurred after he was discovered to be hiding in Los Olivos Medellín by a Colombian electronic surveillance team under the leadership of Brigadier Hugo Martínez. The team used radio trilateration technology in tracking the drug baron’s radiotelephone transmissions and eventually discovered his hideout.
When the authorities closed in on Escobar and his bodyguard, Álvaro de Jesús Agudelo, a firefight ensued which led to both being shot and killed by Colombian National Police. The narcoterrorist suffered gunshots to his leg, torso, and ear which was the fatal shot.
However, Pablo Escobar’s relatives held the belief that he committed suicide, his two brothers Fernando Sánchez Arellano and Roberto Escobar believe their sibling shot himself through the ear as he would always tell them that he would personally shoot himself through the ear if he found himself cornered without a way out.
The King of Cocaine Remains One of the Richest Criminals in History
In the Accountant’s Story, Pablo Escobar’s brother Roberto Escobar discusses how the king of cocaine rose from middle-class obscurity to one of the wealthiest of men worldwide. The drug baron aimed to become a millionaire in his early 20s, a goal which he attained as soon as he launched his crime career.
At the age of 26, Pablo Escobar already had $100 million cooling off in his account, and on an annual basis, the Cartel King made over $21.9 billion. In addition to his several airplanes, automobiles, and real estate, the drug lord purchased a 7.7 square miles of landed property in Antioquia. The land which was worth several million dollars was utilized in building the Hacienda Nápoles. The luxury house contained a lake, a zoo, a private bullring, a sculpture garden, as well as so many other diversions for both his family and the cartel.
Pablo Escobar’s net worth was over $30 billion as far back as the 1990s. He was recorded as one of the top wealthiest men during his time. To date, records still have it that he had a net worth of $30 billion, an amount most renowned business moguls can only dream of today.
Saint Pablo Escobar of Medellin
One would not be completely wrong to expect that an international criminal of Pablo Escobar’s caliber would be abhorred by his people for the commission of uncountable crimes that involved murder among other mind-boggling felonies. However, the narcoterrorist’s case was different as the man was greatly adored by his people.
According to reports Pablo Escobar spent a major part of his ill-gotten wealth on philanthropy, easing the hardship among the dregs of the Columbian state. As expected, all those whose lives were touched by his magnanimity mourned his death, and over 25,000 people were in attendance at his funeral. Some even consider him a saint, praying to him for receiving divine help.
Whereabouts of the Narcoterrorist’s Family Members
Pablo Escobar got married to Maria Victoria Henao now María Isabel Santos Caballero with whom he had two children – son Juan Pablo now Juan Sebastián Marroquín Santos and daughter Manuela. After his demise, Maria took her children and escaped from Columbia in 1995 after their failure to secure a country that was ready to grant them asylum.
The trio fled to Mozambique, latter to Brazil and finally Argentina where they settled down. Maria was able to thrive in the real estate business she set up under her assumed name until she got busted by a business associate who discovered her real identity. Consequently, Maria fled with her accumulated wealth. However, she ended up in prison where she spent eighteen months while the authorities were investigating her business. Pablo Escobar’s widow was released when they couldn’t find any link between her wealth and illegal activities. Today she is still a resident of Buenos Aires alongside her son and daughter.