11 Things You Might Not Know About Don Pablo Escobar Gaviria
"All Empires are created of blood and fire." -Escobar
Don Pablo Escobar was known as the "King of Cocaine" during the 1980s. He had an empire that had eyes and ears everywhere. Polices officers, judges, lawyers, media officials, and even random citizens known as "spotters" were all paid by Escobar to ensure that his every need was met. Although he was highly respected and feared, he was a family man dedicated to his own. He was compassionate about helping his home country prosper and often spent time helping the poor.
1. In Escobar's prime he profited an estimated $420 million a week.
If that's not enough to consider him the "King of Cocaine," consider that he was importing around 15 tons of cocaine into the US every single day. For his time, this was astronomical. Pablo was now responsible for supplying 80% of the United States' demand for cocaine.
2. 'La Catedral,' the prison Pablo "escaped" from, was actually his prison.
When the time came to surrender to the Colombian government, Escobar made sure it was on his own terms. He agreed to serve his prison sentence on one condition: He builds the prison. Pablo chose the location, the inmates, AKA his Sicaros, he even chose the guards. The exterior was seemingly an average prison, but the inside was Pablo's fortress. He had televisions, a master bedroom, pool tables, hot tubs, a soccer field, casino, spa, a nightclub, and a continued list of amenities fit for a king. This also had no effect on his cocaine business either; in fact, it was better than ever. This was all made possible by one very smart negotiated term: No policia within 3km of La Catedral.
3. Escobar was seen frequently giving back to the poor.
He would stand out in the streets handing out cash to needy citizens. In his town, and around the world, he became known as "Robin Hood." He dreamed of becoming a government official, someone with authority to do with his city the way he saw fit. He did manage to get voted into Congress, but he wished to have more power. He intended to do wondrous things for his country but was forced and shamed out of all political campaigns due to his now apparent drug affiliation. Ultimately this resulted in the Avianca Airline bombing conducted by one of Pablo's sicaros. Who, I feel it's worth noting, was completely unaware that he was carrying a bomb.
4. Don Pablo garnered a net worth of up to $30 billion dollars in his lifetime.
While his family was in hiding after things took a turn for the worst, they were forced into a small rural cabin with wood as the only source of heat. His wife and daughter were cold and the firewood outside was too wet to burn; so naturally, Escobar burned approximately $2 million dollars in cash bundles to warm his family. In fact, he was making so much money that while in storage he was losing upwards of $2.1 billion per year due to rodents alone.
5. Escobar liked to hire Colombian and to buy Colombian.
He was passionate about spreading his wealth to his country. He donated millions of dollars to communities, thus funding the building of schools, housing, sports fields, medical clinics, and so much more. He had his own soccer team and sponsored many local businesses to help improve the local economy.
6. He was killed the day after his birthday.
Perhaps the one and only time Don Pablo Escobar was vulnerable and unsuspecting. He was speaking with his family, to his knowledge, under the radar but the Search Bloc was listening to every word. They were able to pinpoint his location and perform a raid. He was shot three times while trying to escape the roof tops. I like to focus on the fact that he did he get to speak to his family one last time.
7. His first arrest was actually a bank robbery.
Shocking, right? The man who would become the wealthiest, most powerful King Pin on Earth started out as a small time thief.
8. He owned a private zoo.
At one of his estates he purchased enough land to house hippos, giraffes, elephants, among other animals. You can still find hippos wandering the grounds today.
9. Pablo was responsible for about 4,000 deaths throughout his lifetime.
Many of the deaths being officials he felt were corrupt. Many children were also harmed in bombings conducted by Escobar's cartel war against the Colombian government.
10. He had a fleet of private cars, trucks, boats, planes, and even two submarines for transporting drugs.
His empire was so enormous that he spent $2.5K each month just for rubber bands to organize and store his cash.
11. 25,000 people in his home city attended his burial to pay their respects.
Many were of the poor who benefited from Escobar's generous donations throughout his lifetime. He left behind both of his parents, his wife, and two beautiful children.
Many have varying views on Don Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, but there is one thing that all can agree on; he is and will forever be a legend.
"There can only be one King." -Escobar