Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria (El Tablazo, vereda de Rionegro, 1 de diciembre de 1949 † Medellín, 2 de diciembre de 1993), fue el más poderoso narcotraficante colombiano conocido. También ejerció como político y fue elegido representante suplente para el Congreso de la República de Colombia en 1982.
Como líder del Cartel de Medellín, fue el máximo capo de la mafia colombiana. Hizo la fortuna más grande del país con el comercio de cocaína. Las autoridades colombianas lo vinculan al asesinato de más de 4.000 personas. Organizó y financió una extensa red de sicarios y con sus actos terroristas (carros bomba en las principales ciudades del país) desestabilizó al país y se constituyó en uno de los criminales más buscados del mundo a comienzos de los años 1990. Murió abatido por la policía 17 meses después de haberse fugado de la cárcel.
También apodado el Zar de la cocaina, su fortuna estaba estimada entre 5 o 10 mil millones de dólares y es considerado el peor criminal en la historia de Colombia. Se necesitaron 16 meses y 3000 efectivos para cazarlo. Veinte mil personas lo acompañaron al panteón.
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, a.k.a. El Patrón or El Doctor (December 1, 1949 – December 2, 1993) gained world infamy as a Colombian drug lord. Escobar became so wealthy from the drug trade that in 1989 Forbes magazine listed him as the seventh richest man in the world. He is considered to be the most ambitious and powerful drug lord in history. His brutal ruthlessness was also legendary; he would kill anyone who stood in his way and was responsible for the killing of 30 judges, 457 policemen, and other deaths at a rate of 20 each day for two months. In total it is said he is directly responsible for the deaths of over 4,000 people.
Pablo Escobar began his criminal career while he was still in school by stealing tombstones and selling them to smugglers from Panama. He also allegedly stole headstones from graveyards and sold them in other villages of the department of Antioquia (this allegation has never been proven). When he was a teenager he began to steal cars from the streets of Medellín. He became involved in other rackets which led him to become a powerful figure in the area.
He eventually moved into the cocaine business and began building an enormous drug empire during the 1970s, which eventually became known as the Medellín Cartel.
During the 1980s, Escobar became known internationally as his drug network gained notoriety; El Cartel de Medellín controlled a large portion of the drugs that entered into the United States, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic with cocaine brought mostly from Peru and Bolivia, as Colombian coca was initially of substandard quality. Escobar's product reached many other nations, mostly around the Americas, although it is said that his network reached as far as Asia.
Escobar was responsible for the murder of Colombian presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galán, one of three assassinated candidates who were all competing in the same election, as well as the bombing of Avianca Flight 203 and the DAS Building bombing in Bogotá in 1989. The Cartel de Medellín was also involved in a deadly drug war with its primary rival, the Cartel De Cali, for most of its existence. Escobar backed the 1985 storming of the Colombian Supreme Court by left-wing guerrillas from the 19th of April Movement, also known as M-19, which resulted in the murder of half the judges on the court. Some of these claims were included in a late 2006 report by a Truth Commission of three judges of the current Supreme Court.
One of those who discusses the attack is "Popeye", a former Escobar hitman. At the time of the siege, the Supreme Court was studying the constitutionality of Colombia's extradition treaty with the U.S.
In 1989, at the height of his empire's power, Forbes magazine estimated Escobar to be the seventh-richest man in the world with a personal wealth of close to $25 billion, while his Medellín cartel controlled 80 percent of the global cocaine market. While seen as an enemy of the United States and Colombian governments, Escobar was a hero to many in Medellín (especially people in poverty); he was a natural at public relations and he worked to create goodwill among Colombia's poor. A lifelong sports fan, he was credited with building football fields and multi-sports courts, sponsoring little league football (soccer) teams as well as Atletico Nacional.
Pablo Escobar was also responsible for the construction of many churches in Medellín, which gained him popularity inside the local Roman Catholic Church. He worked hard to cultivate his "Robin Hood" image, and frequently distributed money to the poor through housing projects and other civic activities, which gained him notable popularity among the poor. The population of Medellín often helped Escobar by serving as lookouts, hiding information from the authorities, or doing whatever else they could do to protect him. At the height of his power, drug traffickers from Medellín and other areas were handing over between 20 to 35% of their Colombian cocaine-related profits to Escobar.
After declaring an end to a series of previous violent or terrorist acts meant to pressure authorities and public opinion, Escobar turned himself in. He was confined in what became his own luxurious private prison, La Catedral. Before Escobar gave himself up, the extradition of Colombian citizens had been prohibited by the newly approved Colombian Constitution of 1991. That was controversial, as it was suspected that Escobar or other druglords had influenced members of the Constituent Assembly.
Accounts of Escobar's continued criminal activities began to surface in the media. Escobar brought the Moncada and Galeano brothers to La Catedral and murdered them, accusing them of stealing from the cartel. When the government found out that Escobar was continuing his criminal activities from La Catedral, it attempted to move Escobar to another jail on July 22, 1992. Escobar escaped, fearing that he could be extradited to the United States.
The war against Escobar ended on December 2, 1993, as he tried to elude the Search Bloc one more time. Using radio triangulation technology provided as part of the United States efforts, a Colombian electronic surveillance team found him hiding in a middle-class barrio in Medellín. The shootout between Escobar and the Search Bloc personnel ensued after the house was located.
Escobar was killed during the confrontation has been debated but it is known that he was cornered on the rooftops of Medellín and after a prolonged gunfight, suffered gunshots to the leg, torso, and the fatal one in his ear. It has never been proven who actually fired the final shot into Escobar's head, whether this shot was made during the gunfight or as part of possible execution, and there is wide speculation about the subject. After Escobar's death, the Medellín Cartel fragmented and the cocaine market soon became dominated by the rival Cali Cartel, until the mid-1990s when its leaders, too, were either killed or captured by the government. The Robin Hood image that he had cultivated continued to have lasting influence in Medellín. Many there, especially many of the city's poor that had been aided by him while he was alive, lamented his death.
On October 28, 2006, Escobar's body was exhumed by request of his nephew Nicolás Escobar, two days after the death of mother Hermilda Gaviria (who opposed exhumation) to verify that the body in the tomb was in fact that of Escobar and also to collect DNA for a paternity test claim. According to the report by the El Tiempo newspaper, Escobar's ex-wife Maria Victoria was present recording the exhumation with a video camera. Some of the family members believe that Escobar could have committed suicide.
Recent interest in Pablo Escobar is credited to the fictional film, Medellín, from the HBO series Entourage. Producer Oliver Stone even said "This is a great project about a fascinating man who took on the system. I think I have to thank, Scarface, and maybe even Ari Gold."
Two feature films are being produced on the life of Escobar: Escobar and Killing Pablo.
Escobar is scheduled to be a 2008 film directed by Antoine Fuqua, based on the book Mi Hermano Pablo by Roberto Escobar, the true story of drug lord Pablo Escobar. The film is being produced by Oliver Stone and distributed by Justin Berfield's J2 Pictures. Escobar will star Edgar Ramirez in the title role. Filming will take place on location in Colombia and Puerto Rico. Filming is expected to commence in January 2008. The film is currently scheduled to be released on November 30, 2008.
Escobar is in direct competition with another Pablo Escobar biopic, Killing Pablo. Both films were announced around the same time, but Escobar has been delayed due to Stone's involvement with the George W. Bush Biopic, W. Killing Pablo is to be directed by Joe Carnahan, based on the book Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw by Mark Bowden, the true story of the death of Pablo Escobar. The film has been in development for several years and is set to begin production in early 2008. The plot claims to tell the true story of how the Colombian gangster and terrorist Pablo Escobar was assassinated and his Medellín cocaine cartel dismantled by US special forces and intelligence, the Colombian military, and a vigilante gang controlled by the Cali cartel. The cast was reported to include Christian Bale as Major Steve Jacoby and Javier Bardem as Escobar.
May 18, 2010