The latest series to aim for the zenith occupied by Breaking Bad, Mad Men and Hannibal is the Netflix original series, Narcos. The show charts the staggering rise from a farmer’s son to all-powerful drug lord of Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug lord who practically ruled the country between the 1970s and ’90s.
Pablo Escobar was born in December, 1949, to a poor farmer and an elementary school teacher. His inauspicious beginnings certainly didn’t limit his ambition; he grew up telling friends that he would be a millionaire by 22 and the future President of Columbia.
While Pablo Escobar may’ve contributed greatly to Colombia’s violence and the perception of the country as a dangerous one, it wasn’t exactly the safest place to live before he was alive, either.
Pablo Escobar millionaire at 22
In his early 20s, he dabbled in kidnapping – taking an executive from his hometown of Medellin and ransoming him for $100,000, which is roughly the equivalent of $600,000 today. All of this made Escobar a millionaire by the time he was 22.
As you can imagine, a gang or crime family is bound to be full of violence and betrayal. Pablo Escobar knew that there was only one way up, and he took his chance.
In 1975, at just 26 years old, Escobar wished to make a deal with the Medellin syndicate head, Fabio Restrepo, which involved 14 kilos of cocaine. Yet because he was viewed merely as a petty street criminal, Escobar allegedly had Restrepo killed.
As befits a real-life Tony Montana, Pablo Escobar lived a life of ostentatious wealth and extreme luxury. His holiday hideaway, Hacienda Napoles, was a paradise spread over 5,000 acres and contained everything from pools and bullrings, to a private zoo containing hippos, elephants and giraffes.
The estate was used both for his family recreation and to host cocaine-fueled parties filled with some of Columbia’s most powerful and influential names.
When he died, the land was ignored for a decade and fell into disrepair. The house was looted by locals who were convinced he’d stashed money or drugs in the walls.
His Pilots Could Earn Up to $500,000 Per Flight
Before Escobar hit it big, he would personally fly small planes into the United States, with cocaine hidden in the tires. However, once his business took off, he began to employ professional pilots, who would smuggle in tons of cocaine for him.
We mean that they would literally fly tons on one flight. And depending on how much coke a given pilot was able to smuggle across, he could make up to $500,000 per flight! With a paycheck like that, it’s no wonder Escobar’s employees were so happy around him.
Don Pablo (El Patron) was a modern Robin Hood
Often considered a modern day Robin Hood, Escobar often gave much of his riches to the poor, which garnered him praise and devotion. In fact, there’s a neighborhood in Medellin that still bears his name.
Escobar was well known for his contributions to the city, which included sponsoring local children’s football teams and building sports complexes, schools and churches. In return, the poor defended Pablo until his end.
When he died in 1993, over 25,000 people showed up for his funeral, many of them members of the poor who still felt gratitude for his generosity over the years.
What was the final result for Escobar? Let’s just say it didn’t turn out well for him. In 1992, a vigilante group calling themselves Los Pepes emerged, burning down Escobar’s compounds and killing family members.
U.S. intelligence agencies began working with Colombian forces, and through radio triangulation technology, they were able to locate Escobar in Medellin, which ultimately resulted in a shootout across rooftops in 1993. While Pablo Escobar was fatally shot through the ear, it is still disputed whether the bullet came from the authorities or whether he killed himself – many say that his bodyguard shoot him.
So, did you find something new about Escobar? Did we leave any interesting facts out? For more informative news published every day be sure to subscribe below.