It is in every ones dream to have power and recognition in the society. Pablo Escobar was no exemption, born from a humble and poor background he fought his way to gain power no matter the means. He was born in 1949 by a peasant farmer and a schoolteacher, and at the age of two, they moved to Envigado the city of Medellin in Colombia. Colombia at that time was known for its violence, and illegal characters and thus a young Pablo grew in this environment. He started as a teenage car thief in the streets of Medellin in an attempt to gain power and money. He would go to the extent of stealing head stones from graveyards and resale them to make money (Bowden 25). This was the beginning of one of the richest men in the world. As the saying goes, the end justifies the means; he was ready to do anything as long as his dream would come true. He involved himself in city scams to make money, and in the 1960’s, he was working as a minor dealer with the American new found obsession with coca. He at last moved into trafficking as he realized his dream would come true faster in this kind of business.
Through his illegal involvements, he was able to build an enormous illegal empire and made himself powerful and known all over Colombia. It was in 1975 when Pablo murdered one dealer by the name of Fabio Restrepo and took all his men to work for him in his empire of illegal business. In 1976, most of his men were arrested and in the process of being investigated, Pablo killed the two investigating officers and the case was dropped. It was then that his pattern of dealing with officers by bribing them began and whoever happened to be stubborn faced death in Pablo’s hands (Facts on File 45). In 1980’s his cartel was known internationally to control eighty percent of the shipment that came to U.S. He carried out a series of killings including several presidential hopefuls and the bombing of the Avianca flight 203, storming of the Colombian Supreme Court.
He was once ranked the 70th richest man in the world according to the Forbes Magazine with his firm controlling a fleet of planes, vehicles, and boats. It is estimated that Medellin cartel had an annual turnover of over $30 billion (James Mollison 45). In the 1990, the Colombian government was forced by the US to start extraditing Colombians to US for prosecution. In fear of extradition, Escobar started kidnapping famous Colombians who supported the extradition. Pressure mounted and he struck a deal with Colombian authorities where he submitted himself to in fear of extradition. He was sent to a prison from where he could run his businesses. In July 22 1992, he was transferred to a higher court where he could not run his illegal business. He had escaped before he was apprehended.
His escape led to a big manhunt by the Colombian government in collaboration with US security officials. He went underground for sixteen months until he was traced through a telephone call. It was in December 2 1992 at 44 years of age when Pablo Escobar was shot and killed bringing to the end of Medellin cartel.
- The beginning of end of an empire
When Luis Carlos Galan, was assassinated, the authority moved against Escobar and his cartels. The authority requested him to surrender in return for amnesty in the form of a reduced sentence. He turned himself ton the authorities and confined in La Catedral a luxurious prison. It was during the same time when the Colombian constitution of 1991 was passed (Juan E. Méndez, Americas Watch Committee (U.S.), Human Rights Watch (Organization) 85). Inside the prison, Escobar was carrying out his business and other criminal activities. Escobar through his influence knew the plan of moving him, to a higher prison and escaped.
This escape prompted a large manhunt that included US forces, Delta force, Colombian military, and Navy SEALs. A vigilante group named Los Pepes was formed to locate him, which was financed by Escobar rivals. One of the leaders of the vigilante group was Diego Murillo Bejarano, a former Medellin Cartel associate.
- Death and afterward
In December 1993, the search for Escobar ground to a halt. By use of a radio triangulation technology, the US forces in collaboration with the Colombian electronic surveillance team traced him in Medellin. The authorities surrounded the hideout prompting his bodyguards retaliate. The two renegades attempted an escape running across roofs in a bid to escape through the back street; both were shot dead by Police. A fierce gun battle ensued that saw Escobar shot on the leg, torso, and ear. It not yet established who shot Escobar with family members speculating that he committed suicide (Ruiz 65). His bothers stay that he shot himself.
The aftermath of his death saw the disintegration of Medellin cartel with the cocaine market soon overtaken by Cali Cartel his rival until the 1990s when its leaders were killed by the Colombian government.
Pablo Escobar grew in a humble background in a city where crime and illegal trade was rampant. This coupled with many other factors turned him into a criminal and engaged in illegal deal that saw him built a multibillion illegal empire, Medellin cartel. To cover his illegal deals he engaged himself in violence and committed a series of assassinations to presidential hopefuls and senior government officials. This saw him declared wanted by Colombian authorities and the US that later saw him killed.