Pablo Escobar Gaviria biography
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, better known as Pablo Escobar, was one of the main protagonists in drug violence in the 1980’s in Colombia, who also joined the violence of the guerrillas, the army, and the paramilitaries. He was very important for his political work and consequent scandal to be the head of the Cartel of Medellin, one of the largest drug cartels in the world. In his eagerness to power, he unleashed the war against the state itself multiplying the aforementioned violence.
Pablo Escobar was born in Ríonegro, Antioquia, on December 1, 1949, and died in Medellín in 1993. His father was a farm administrator and his mother a village teacher, it was a small low middle-class home. Since he was a child he worked in activities such as washing cars, raising cows and helping in markets. But apparently, he worked in more criminal ones like stealing cars or hired thug so at a young age he began his criminal career from small-scale smuggling until he approached marijuana traffic and then cocaine.
The creation of the Medellín Cartel dates back to 1974 when he created a cocaine production and distribution business that grew into an organization dedicated to drug trafficking (and exporting it). In 1976 Escobar was arrested with nineteen kilos of cocaine, but his case was dismissed (when a trial is suspended due to lack of causes that justify the action of justice). While the cartel and drug trafficking grew, Escobar’s fortune became considerable.
Instead of continuing with the archetype of Capo dedicated to illicit activities (who live in anonymity and try to go unnoticed) Escobar was dedicated to build a good man image, as he financed development plans for the suburbs of Medellín and thus he carry out a neighborhood called Medellín sin Tugurios or Pablo Escobar neighborhood, a group of 780 homes for people in need. With the people he won thanks to his social work, he became deputy mayor of the Medellin City Council.
For this time of drug trafficking, he became greedy for power and in his search for it, he began to contribute money in political campaigns so that they overlook the very activity of drug trafficking and had a voice in the important issues of Colombia. In this line, Escobar formed a political group called Civismo en Marcha that was ascribed to the New Liberalism of Galán and in 1982, Pablo Escobar was elected deputy to the parliamentary Jairo Ortega in the Congress of the Republic. Escobar was not the only one to interfere in the highest echelons of power since Carlos Lehder Rivas was also the one who created the National Latino Movement, although he was a well-known drug trafficker.
But Escobar was mistaken in relating his movement to that of Galán because when he learned of his criminal activities (denounced by El Espectador) he expelled him from his movement. Thus ended the political career of Escobar because, although he promoted some other companies and social works together with priests Elías Lopera Cárdenas and Hernán Cuartas, his image remained on the ground.
Thus in 1938 he tried to return to hide and for a long time dodged journalists, Colombian authorities and international agencies (Interpol and DEA).
For what was already indicated, Luis Carlos Galán became the great enemy of the drug traffickers because he was the symbol against them and against the corruption of the politicians. And therefore they initiated a persecution against him and his movement by Escobar and Gonzalo Rodríguez Gacha. All this scandal got the politicians and the Colombian authorities to look at the new problem brought about by the drug trade. Some pages explain some reforms and their relationship with drug trafficking:
“The government of Belisario Betancur (1982-1986) had initiated in 1983 a tax reform with which it was wanted to offer a legislation that gave the possibility of incorporating the so-called “hot money” to the economy of the country; then the possibility of legalizing the drug and its main protagonists had been discussed. All this was put into question.”
Another important factor that shook all this problem was the position of the United States, since being the main consumer of the drug exported wanted to eradicate the entire system (that is why the DEA, administration for drug control, began to handle the related to the capture of Escobar). So, the US requested extradition for drug traffickers as a coercive measure, but the narco-traffickers represented by Escobar said the famous phrase:
“We prefer a grave in Colombia to a cell in the United States.” Pablo Escobar
Although the extradition was not taken into account at the beginning, after the murder of Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, it became a reality because the drug war was declared and in response a wave was unleashed assassinations of leaders, politicians, journalists, presidential candidates and many others with relief at the national level (they were also called the extraditables).
Meanwhile, Escobar became the chief drug trafficker in Colombia, which made him one of the world’s richest men and the country was involved in an unusual violence because drug traffickers came to put car bombs, kidnap, kill and destroy to force the government to abolish extradition. From attacks against the headquarters of the DAS to the murder of Guillermo Cano, director of El Espectador, and the murder of three presidential candidates: Galán (1989), Carlos Pizarro (leader M-19) and Bernardo Jaramillo Ossa (leader Patriotic Union).
Finally, although he turned himself in during the presidency of César Gaviria when he prohibited extradition, he did not stop his criminal activities. Pablo Escobar built his own prison where he lived with all the luxuries he wanted and where he was safe from the state, extradition and other government organizations. When he was in danger of extradition for his null punishment in prison, Escobar alluded to the lack of guarantees of the state and left his prison. After a long time avoiding his capture, on December 2, 1993, at 44 years old, Pablo Escobar was murdered by fifteen police from the Search Block on the roof of his house in the neighborhood of La América in Medellín while trying to flee. He was located because he called his family, which was formed by his wife María Victoria Henao and their two children: Juan Pablo and Manuela.
Escobar has been the protagonist of many movies, series, and books because it went down in history for all the violence, money, extravagances and criminal behaviors (prostitution, pedophilia, and others) that he represented.