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Pablo Escobar

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Pablo Escobar


Pablo Escobar was a man of power and riches during his time in history. Escobar was listed as the seventh richest man in the world in 1989. Coming from Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, Escobar started off as a small time gangster and a car thief. His small time crimes would never amount to what he was going to become. In the late 1970 s Escobar and his cartel became one of the most powerful organized crime organizations. The cartel consolidated the cocaine industry controlling as much as 80 percent of cocaine worldwide. This paper dives deep into the life and rise of Pablo Escobar.

Early Life

Pablo Escobar was born second child in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1979. Eight years later, with the addition of two more brothers, his family set out to the United States in search for a better life. They end up in West New York, NJ. (Bowden, 55)

Ten years went by and his family was only deteriorating. In 1994 Pablo's mother kidnapped the three youngest brothers and went back to Costa Rica. Pablo took Hip-hop with him. At only age 12, Pablo Escobar remembers making his first ryhme. Pablo Escobar ravels throughout his country enriching himself with his country's culture and performing at any place he can. (Bowden, 55)

The Rise of Pablo Escobar

Pablo Escobar was arguably the richest and most violent criminal in history. Forbes Magazine in 1989 listed him as the seventh-richest man in the world. Escobar, a heavy pot-smoker cultivated a relaxed, informal life style with his friends and associates. Escobar was not as friendly to his enemies he was vicious and feared by everyone. For example when one of Escobar's bombs brought down an Avianca Airliner in Colombia in November 1989, Killing 107 people, he became one of the most feared terrorists in the world. He was considered the brains of the cartel and had a stand up reputation with the people of Medellin. He built many things for the community such as a hospital, housing for the poor and other types of charity. Which lead to being elected as an alternate to Colombia Congress in 1983, Escobar enjoyed widespread popularity among the poor in Colombia, especially in his home state of Antioquia.

In the early 60's, Colombian farmers grew and sold coca plants and extracts to outside interests, never really paying attention to what the vegetation was used for. When Escobar came of age in the late 60's, he quickly realized that all this coca was being snorted up the noses of the rapidly expanding drug culture in America. As such, he decided that the best way to make money off of the sale and processing was to control all sides of the business. (Thompson, 55-91)

He quickly took over the coca fields around Medellin, paying farmers and workers double what they were making on their own. Escobar then opened processing labs and facilities nearby to turn the plants into sweet, sweet nose candy. Finally, he sent friends and relatives north to America as cocaine Amway salesmen. (Thompson, 55-91)

He was at that time the most notorious drug trafficker in the world running his cocaine business surrounded and protected by the Colombian army. Estimates were made that 70 to 80 tons of cocaine were being shipped from Colombia to the United States every single month, and Escobar and his cartel controlled the bulk of it. This soon turned violent in 1984, when Colombia began cracking down on the cocaine exporters and extraditing them to the United States for trial. His then campaign of murder, kidnapping, bombing and bribery then took into affect until his death. (Thompson, 55-91)

But by 1982, Pablo Escobar was raking in billions of dollars from American coke heads, and he used those funds to win the hearts and minds of Medellin residents. He built hospitals, schools, and low income housing projects for his loyal workers. By years end, he was even elected to a seat in the Colombian congress. (Thompson, 55-91)

No lawyer would prosecute him; no judge would hear a trial against him. Pablo was untouchable thanks to mountains of cash and walls made of armed goons. During this time it forced a constitutional crisis in Colombia. He paid the government into banning extradition and his murder campaign against judges and prosecutors so intimidated the nation that it abandoned trial by jury and began appointing anonymous judges to prosecute crimes. At that time he was blamed for assassinating three of the five candidates for the Colombian president in 1989. In 1986 more than 90 people died in the siege killing 11 Supreme Court justices. Escobar also placed a bounty on the heads of officers in Medellin, paying even higher rewards for killing those with the greater rank. Until Escobar's death in 1993 he was considered responsible for thousands of deaths in Colombia, and was even mourned publicly by large crowds in his home city. After years of fighting with the Colombian government Escobar offered to give himself up in 1991. He would surrender only under a few circumstances, which include not being able to extradited to the United States to stand trial, and he building his own prison that fit his needs. (Thompson, 55-91)

Despite his wealth, Pablo was living the life of a fugitive. There were arrest warrants issued for him in both Colombia and the United States. He was offered clemency if he turned himself into the Colombian authorities and gave up his empire. After a assassination attempt by a rival cartel, Pablo turned himself in to Colombian authorities.

Escobar renovated the Prison he chose for his stint in jail. The facility was on a hill top, and Escobar spent millions of dollars to turn it into his own personal fortress. When all was said and done, he was basically serving his time in a castle guarded by the military. He removed all cell doors and bars, had the bathrooms ripped out and replaced, and placed new parapets around the building for the guards. They weren't keeping him in; they were keeping everyone else out. (Thompson 69-88)

The US monitored Escobar's actions from outside the prison walls, unable to enter due to the highly motivated and bribed Colombian military prison guards. Pablo began conducting business by carrier pigeon and word of mouth. As soon as he realized that his phone conversations were being tapped, Pablo, left his swanky jail in 1992.

His empire was being abused from all sides. His fields were burning, his dealers were changing teams, and the coke-fueled disco was giving way to the ecstasy-powered rave.

While on the run, he placed a bounty on the heads of all police officers, American citizens, and military personnel within Medellin. He



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