Home > South America > Colombia > Tierra Paisa > Medellín > Medellín Overview > The Legend of Pablo Escobar
Page Rating
Content Quality:

Page Importance:
Author Pick:
Close Map

Book a Hotel or Hostel

Hotels Hostels & Budget


Check in Date

Check out Date

Number of Rooms

Top Colombia

The Legend of Pablo Escobar

Cocaine-legend Pablo Escobar began his criminal career inauspiciously as a grave robber, ripping up tombstones and re-selling them. Through underworld connections, he soon began smuggling cocaine, a job in which success proves lucrative. In a series of calculated moves, he became head honcho of the Medellín Cartel, earning $1 million a day in cocaine money by controlling charter-flight deliveries to the U.S. In the 1980s, Colombia controlled 75-80 percent of the cocaine trade and of that, Escobar’s cartel ran the majority of it. Coca soon became the biggest cash crop in Latin America as international cocaine use exploded.

A drug baron worth $3 billion, Escobar’s power and fame was widespread. Pablo was fierce and bought up influence by intimidating, threatening or killing anyone in his path, be it man, woman or child. Politicians were offered two alternatives: pay-off or death.

Despite his corrupt character, El Patrón—or “The Godfather” as Pablo is also called—was able to win the hearts and minds of Colombia’s disenfranchised by financing charity works á la Robin Hood. He built churches and football fields, quickly winning the support of the Catholic Church and the working class.

He is credited with several political assassinations and the bombing of Avianca flight 203, which killed several Americans on-board, spurring DEA involvement in Colombia. In order to stop a law from being passed that would allow narco-traffickers to be extradited, Pablo’s men—the M19—turned a November 6, 1985 Supreme Court meeting into a bloodbath, killing half the senators. The granddaddy of the cocaine industry also created his own political party and was elected to congress, establishing himself as head of a veritable mafia (and earning himself a limited immunity for criminal acts).

Escobar was allowed to build and design his own prison, La Catedral, as part of a deal with the government. In exchange for giving himself up to the authorities, he was granted immunity from extradition to the U.S. So many were his enemies that when Escobar escaped from his plush private jail in 1992, government teams, both Colombian and American, joined hands with the vigilante group Los Pepes (People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar) to track him down. The manhunt, as well as Escobar’s life, ended in a shootout between Pablo and a U.S. army contingent on the rooftops of a Medellín neighborhood in 1993.

His legend lives on, especially in Hollywood. Multiple movies over the years have centered around Escobar’s life, including Blow (2001), starring Johnny Depp. In Medellín, the city that made him famous, visitors are able to see Escobar’s grave at the Cemetery of Jardines de Montesacro; his former estate, Hacienda Nápoles, which is now an amusement park. Some tour companies, such as Zorba, organize Pablo Escobar-themed tours that hit on some or all of these, plus more.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Medellín: History,

07 Feb 2014

VIVA Colombia

View Medellín Map

South America | Central America and Mexico | Antarctica |
Advertise | Anúnciese | Jobs | Alliances | Alianzas | Terms of Use | Contact Us | About Us | Blog | Administradores |
You must register as an owner for access to these listing tools and benefits.

Notification of new reviews: receive your latest reviews by e-mail

Customized request-a-review link: encourage guests to spread the word about your property

Our owners' newsletter: stay informed about our latest tools and benefits for you

User login

Enter your username and password here in order to log into the website:


Create a new V!VA account

Forgot Password