Who Was Pablo Escobar? (Part I)

Who Was Pablo Escobar? (Part I)

Pablo Escobar has gone down in history as Colombia’s biggest drug trafficker, but he was also famous for his weight in his country’s political history and his many eccentricities, not to mention the more than 10,000 murders attributed to him.

The following is a bit of history about this Pablo Escobar who, for better or worse, made a space in the history of Colombia and humanity.

Who Was Pablo Escobar (Part I)
Pablo Escobar.

When we look for Pablo Escobar’s name in history books or Google, what always first appears to us is his figure as one of the biggest drug-trafficker of Colombia, but the truth is that he was also one of the bloodiest criminals of the 20th century.

  1. Pablo Escobar’s Childhood.
  2. His beginnings in drug trafficking.
  3. Pablo Escobar in the formation of the Medellin Cartel.
  4. Pablo Escobar in politics.
  5. Hacienda Nápoles.
  6. The murders of Pablo Escobar.
  7. The entrance of Pablo Escobar in “La Catedral” (The Cathedral).
  8. The end of Escobar’s life.

1. Pablo Escobar’s Childhood

Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was born in Rionegro (many would know him as the “Patron” in his adult life) on Dec 1, 1949, in a small town less than 25 miles from Medellin (Colombia), third of seven brothers (three sisters and four brothers).

His very religious family decided to call him one of the apostles of Jesus. Apparently he was his mother’s favorite, and in fact it was known that as a child he was pampered to strangers.

From an early age he began to demonstrate his leadership skills and vision to sew money at all costs.

As a child, he managed to rent old bicycles or comic books so that he could have his own “fortune”.

As a teenager he teamed up with Gustavo Gaviria (his cousin) to work in a tombstone factory.

The two boys traveled from town to town trying to sell their product to relatives who had lost a loved one, although they soon found an illegal way to make the business prosper as they were stealing marble tombstones from the San Pedro cemetery, where the wealthy families of Medellín had luxurious pantheons, and then sold them to recyclers.

2. His beginnings in drug trafficking

Pablo Escobar.

It was in 1972, at the age of 22, when Pablo Escobar began to make a name for himself in Medellin after leading a gang with whom he dedicated himself to looting cars as well as trafficking.

We are at the dawn of the massive export of cocaine to the USA from Colombia and Escobar was set as a business of the future.

He was not mistaken and began with a business that ended up being very successful for him and his business environment, as it generated much more money than he could ever have imagined.

He begins to work with his cousin-brother, in the shadow of smuggler Alfredo Gomez Lopez (a.k.a. “The Godfather”), both being a kind of bodyguard for the large narcotics trucks that arrived in the city.)

Perhaps the success of his early years was his tenacity, his level of violence (exaggerated) despite the fact that he knew how to keep calm in extreme situations and, above all, his refusal to to be seduced by the goods with which he himself traded.

With the first years together with Gómez López he becomes a “fly”, a person who places himself in front of the caravan of vehicles loaded with drugs bribed to the authorities so that his companions are not in danger).

3. Pablo Escobar in the formation of the Medellin Cartel

Who Was Pablo Escobar? (Part I)
Pablo Escobar.

In 1974, two years after starting out in the drug “empire”, he is already a real name as a smuggler in part, because he himself is in charge of bringing the cocaine consignments to American soil.

In 1976, he expanded his business by building his own cocaine process labs.

It was in that same year that the Medellín Cartel was formed, a criminal organization that he himself directed and that encompassed an infrastructure divided into production, transportation and sales.

He began an unstoppable period in which he came to control 80% of the drug trafficking that entered the USA.

At 29 years old he was a completely rich man and thus fulfilled the promise he had made when he was a child. (if he was 25 years old he would commit suicide if he didn’t have a million pesos).

4. Pablo Escobar in politics

Pablo Escobar.

After getting rich on drugs, he looks to politics as his next field of action.

The aim was to legalize or “cover up” his dirty business in some way.

He does good works of charity (such as building football fields in disadvantaged areas or constructing buildings). But all paid for with drug money.

His social measures, very popular with his friends, the citizens and especially the inhabitants of the neighborhood in which he grew up La Paz, are not well regarded by his political rivals who accused him of being a populist.

In spite of everything, he achieves part of his objective by becoming, at the age of 32, a substitute congressman for the Liberal Alternative party.

You can continue reading at: Who Was Pablo Escobar? (Part II)

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