|Capital:||€ 30 billion|
|Country of origin:||Colombia|
|Source of wealth:||Drug dealers and drug smugglers|
Pablo Escobar is one of the most notorious gangsters of the past century. The development of industrial production and the organized distribution of cocaine made the Colombian one of the richest people in the world in his day. Besides his own wealth, he also cared about the well-being of the poorest people in Colombia. Nevertheless, his actions were always marked by the greatest cruelty. Escobar was also known as “El Patrón” or “El Doctor”.
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was born on December 1, 1949, the third of seven children in Rionegro, Colombia. His father was a rancher and his mother was a teacher. The Escobars family belonged to the rural middle class, but Pablo’s youth was characterized early on by violence and exposure to drugs. Together with his cousin Gustavo, Escobar was often in the Medellin red light district. There he made first contacts with local underworld greats, was involved in robberies and became a member of a smuggling group that traded in marijuana and cigarettes. Escobar showed early on the ambition to gain power and reputation and, at just 20 years old, kidnapped rich citizens together with his gang to ransom them. Some of these kidnapped people were killed despite paying a ransom.
“Career” by Pablo Escobar
In the mid-1970s, Escobar appeared as one of the pioneers in the trade in cocaine, the fashion drug that was new at the time. He quickly realized that doing cocaine was much more lucrative than doing marijuana. Due to its unscrupulousness and enormous ambition, Escobar quickly gained a place at the top of the Medellin cartel. In collaboration with various pilots in sports aircraft, Escorbar smuggled cocaine from Colombia to Miami, thereby generating a small fortune. Later even mini submarines were used for Escobar’s smuggling shops. Through bribery and intimidation, Escobar kept the law enforcement officials at bay. He did not hesitate to have judges and police officers killed. The murder of 30 judges and 457 police officers is said to be his account. The Colombian “plata o plomo”, ie silver or lead, was practiced regularly by Escobar. This means that either the law enforcement officers bribed him or they felt his lead.
Another recipe for success for the drug lord was to make the population of Medellina weigh up. He not only built an entire district for the homeless, but even let himself be elected to the Medellin City Council.
For the cultivation of his cocaine, Escobar used independent growers and also controlled the transport of the goods. If a delivery was lost, Escobar paid the planters for the loss, which made them weigh.
Highlights of the “career”
In 1983 and at the beginning of 1984, Pablo Escobar was considered the most successful cocaine dealer in the world. It largely controlled the global cocaine market and controlled around 80 percent of the Colombian cocaine market. In 1989, the well-known Forbes magazine led the drug lord to be the seventh richest man in the world. His private fortune is said to have totaled $ 2.7 billion at that time. Other sources are even more fortunate.
Already in 1979 Escobar bought a huge ranch on the Rio Magdalena for a proud $ 63 million, which he converted into a luxury property. This was called “Hacienda Nápoles” and even housed a zoo.
At the end of his career, Escobar organized a drug transport to the United States, in which he stowed 10 tons of cocaine in a converted Boeing 727.
Famous quotes from Pablo Escobar
One of the most famous phrases attributed to Pablo Escobar is: “Better a tomb in Colombia than a prison cell in the United States”. Escobar uttered this sentence when the pressure on him from international law enforcement agencies increased. In this context, the Colombian government wanted to pass a law that would allow drug traffickers to be extradited to the United States.
Escobar’s wish should come true. In 1993, Escobar was shot and killed by an elite US-Colombian unit in Medellin.
Pablo Escobar became so successful through a combination of unscrupulousness, good connections and contacts, wealth of ideas and an almost inexhaustible ambition. Bribery, extortion and murder were the order of the day for him. On the other hand, Escobar “bought” the love of the common people, who held a protective hand over him for a long time.