Pablo Escobar was perhaps the most notorious and wealthy drug kingpin in history. The man, as infamous as he was, became a household name. Practically everybody knew who he was…
And like many well-known figures, his death is shrouded in mystery. Years later it still raises questions. We’ve decided to dive into the events surrounding the man’s death and what made him the most well-known drug trafficker in history…
Pablo Escobar was the most notorious drug kingpin to ever walk the streets of Columbia. With a path of bloodshed trailing behind him, the number of deaths he was responsible for was in the thousands. Escobar spent years of his life on the run from authorities, dodging death one bullet at a time. Eventually, fate caught up with him.
On December 2, 1993, Pablo was finally surrounded. A Colombian surveillance team picked up on Pablo’s voice through radio transmission. They were able to pinpoint his exact location to an apartment in Los Olivos. Authorities surrounded the building, and left Escobar with nowhere to go.
In true Pablo fashion, he attempted to flee the scene. He and his bodyguard escaped through the back window onto the roof of another building. It was here that gunfire ensued, and both Pablo and his trusted bodyguard were shot to death. His body lay strewn across the tile rooftop in Colombia, and his reign was finally put to an end.
A rather morbid photograph circled the newspapers of the world. It was a photo of the Colombian authorities surrounding Pablo’s dead body on the rooftop where he was shot. This photo lead the Colombian police to receive the credit for Pablo’s murder for a while, however, this didn’t last long.
Who did it?
Countless stories began to swirl through the streets of Colombia. Some were saying the local authorities did it and others said rival drug gang Los Pepes dealt the final blow. Meanwhile members of Pablo’s family were convinced the kingpin took the gun to his own head.
During his reign, Escobar was a violent man. In 1989, he was involved in multiple altercations with the Colombian authorities. Many of these altercations lead to bloodshed and death. The Colombian President couldn’t tolerate the humiliation anymore. How was a drug gang winning the war against the president’s police force?
President Barco decided to create a special task force to focus solely on attacking Pablo and his crew. Initially, they encountered setbacks, as many people did when searching for the infamous Pablo. However, they were solely responsible for tracking Pablo’s phone call and location on the day of his demise.
According to official documents regarding Pablo’s murder, President Barco’s task force was given 100 percent of the credit for murdering the kingpin. They allegedly searched for three long years for Pablo, and finally were able to pinpoint his exact location, surround the building, and ultimately take him down.
Eleven months before Pablo’s death, Los Pepes decided to join in on the hunt for the drug lord. Los Pepes was formed by a group of people who were persecuted by Escobar personally. It included rival drug gang members, and even scorned members of Pablo’s own crew. In essence, Los Pepes was not afraid to go the extra mile to take Pablo down.
While Los Pepes was not a legal group of vigilantes, many believe that they worked closely with the Colombian government and American government to reach their target. Their brutality rivaled that of Pablo’s crew. They went after everyone associated with Pablo, ranging from corrupt politicians, to Escobar’s lawyers.
Quickly, Los Pepes was up to six killings a day. This did not go unnoticed on Pablo’s radar. He retaliated with bombings in urban areas, killing innocent citizens. War ensued and Los Pepes began destroying a number of properties owned by Pablo.
Many reports state that members of Los Pepes joined the Colombian police force when raiding Pablo’s hideout on that final December day. Don Berna, a main member of Los Pepes, claims that it was his brother, Rodolfo, who shot and killed the kingpin.
Truth or Lie
There is no physical evidence that proves that Los Pepes was in fact working with the Colombian Police. However, years later in 2003 a member of the Colombian police force stated, “It was an agreement that they had because Escobar was a common enemy,” which seemed to back up Don Berna’s story.
The final theory surrounding Escobar’s death is that the drug lord himself took the gun, pointed it at himself, and pulled the trigger. Apparently, Escobar knew he was surrounded on all sides and did not want to give anyone the satisfaction of his own murder…
Pablo’s son stated that throughout his life, his father would tell him that if it ever came to a point that Pablo was surrounded and had no way out, he would take his own life. Furthermore, Pablo’s son says that in the infamous picture of his deceased father on the roof, there is a Sig Sauer pistol lying next to his body, which was owned and used often by Pablo.
Years later, Pablo’s family had the body exhumed and an examination done. They said that the findings prove that Pablo killed himself. Col. Martinez, however, said that if in fact Pablo did kill himself, the day of the murder there would have been gunpowder left on his arms, and the autopsy showed none.
The mystery surrounding the death of Pablo Escobar is likely to go down in history as an unsolved crime. To the people of Colombia, it does not matter who took Escobar’s life, rather, it matter’s that his reign of terror on the people of Colombia had ended after decades.
During the peak of Pablo’s reign, he and his cartel were smuggling a staggering 70 million dollars per day. This equates to about 26 billion per year. The cartel ruled everything in Colombia. The government was so corrupt at the time that nearly anything Pablo wanted, he was able to get done by bribing the authorities…
The people had hoped prison would save them from his reign of terror, however prison was a regular for Pablo. His sentences never lasted long. He was infamous for befriending prison guards, making it more of a vacation as opposed to time served. Escobar often escaped prison shortly after entering, and proceeded to continue his life on the run….
Eventually, fate caught up with the notorious drug dealer, and the people of Colombia were given peace of mind. The person who in fact committed the act of murdering Pablo Escobar may never be brought to light, but one thing is for sure. The people of Columbia were safer now that he was no longer alive, and his reign of terror on their people was finally put to an end..