|Born||1 December 1949 Rionegro, Colombia|
|Died||2 December 1993 Medellin, Colombia|
Pablo "El Doctor" Escobar was a notorious and wealthy cocaine trafficker and drug lord from Colombia who led the Medellin Cartel. Escobar was the richest criminal in history, with $30,000,000,000 by the early 1990s. Escobar was killed by the government in 1993 in a shootout in Medellin.
Biography[edit | edit source]
Pablo Escobar was born in 1949 in Rionegro, Colombia. On the streets of Medellin as a teenager, he made money illegally by stealing gravestones and giving them to dealers for resale. By the early 1970s, he was a thief and a bodyguard, and made a quick $100,000 for capturing and ransoming a Medellin executive. Escobar's childhood ambition was to become a millionaire before he was 22 years old, and starting in 1975, he began to smuggle cocaine. Escobar himself flew planes between Colombia and Panama, smuggling crack into America. In 1975, after purchasing 14 kilograms of cocaine, he killed dealer Fabio Restrepo, and all of his men were told that they worked for Escobar now. In May 1976 he was arrested for possessing 18 kilos of crack after returning to Medellin from Ecuador, but he bribed the two arresting officers and the case was dropped. Because there were no cartels or barons back then, Escobar had plenty of customers, and soon the demand for coke skyrocketed in the USA. Escobar took over several trade routes into America, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Spain with crack produced in Bolivia and Peru, and he bought Norman's Cay in the Bahamas. There, he constructed a zoo, a lake, and a base of operations for his smuggling operations. Escobar formed the Medellin Cartel, made up of several gang members that smuggled drugs through the Americas and the Caribbean.
In 1982, Escobar gained political power after being made a part of the Colombian Liberal Party's membership in the Chamber of Representatives of Colombia, and was present as President Felipe Gonzalez's inaugaration in Spain. In 1989 he assassinated three presidential candidates, but his cartel began a rivalry with the Cali Cartel. By 1989, Forbes reported that he was one of 227 billionaires, with $30,000,000,000 ($58,000,000,000 in 2014), and he gained popularity as a "Robin Hood" figure. He built churches, hospitals, and schools, which made the Roman Catholic Church respect him, and he also built housing projects and community centers for the poor. However, Colombia became the world murder capital, with 25,100 murders in 1991 and 27,100 in 1992. He gave money to hitmen for killing cops, and 600 cops were killed by his men.
Soon, the United States became involved in the Colombian war on drugs, sending advisers to train the Los Pepes (PEPES standing for "People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar) paramilitary forces and to assist the Colombian Army. On 2 December 1993, Escobar was tracked down to Medellin by radio triangulation technology used by the government's Search Bloc. They fled on the roofs of the middle-class barrio, but the police fired on them, striking both of them. Rather than be killed by the police, Escobar finished himself off with a gunshot to the head. 25,000 people were present for his burial.