Pablo Escobar Essay, Research Paper
Pablo Escobar was a man of power and riches during his time in history. Escobar was listed as the seventh richest man in the world in 1989. Coming from Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia, Escobar started off as a small time gangster and a car thief. His small time crimes would never amount to what he was going to become. In the late 1970 s Escobar and his cartel became one of the most powerful organized crime organizations. The cartel consolidated the cocaine industry controlling as much as 80 percent of cocaine worldwide.
Escobar, a heavy pot-smoker cultivated a relaxed, informal life style with his friends and associates. Escobar was not as friendly to his enemies he was vicious and feared by everyone. For example when one of Escobar s bombs brought down an Avianca Airliner in Colombia in November 1989, Killing 107 people, he become one of the most feared terrorists in the world.
He was considered the brains of the cartel and had a stand up reputation with the people of Medellin. He built many things for the community such as a hospital, housing for the poor and other types of charity. Which lead to being elected as an alternate to Colombia Congress in 1983, Escobar enjoyed widespread popularity among the poor in Colombia, especially in his home state of Antioquia. Some called Escobar the Robin Hood-type criminal among Colombia s poor.
At the height of his power in the late 1980 s, he was in control of the multibillion- dollar export of Colombian cocaine to the United States. He was at that time the most notorious drug trafficker in the world running his cocaine business surrounded and protected by the Colombian army. Estimates were made that 70 to 80 tons of cocaine were being shipped from Colombia to the United States every single month, and Escobar and his cartel controlled the bulk of it.
This soon turned violent in 1984, when Colombia began cracking down on the cocaine exporters and extraditing them to the United States for trial. His then campaign of murder, kidnapping, bombing and bribery then took into affect until his death. During this time it forced a constitutional crisis in Colombia. He paid the government into banning extradition and his murder campaign against judges and prosecutors so intimidated the nation that it abandoned trial by jury and began appointing anonymous judges to prosecute crimes. At that time he was blamed for assassinating three of the five candidates for the Colombian president in 1989. In 1986 more than 90 people died in the subsequent siege killing 11 Supreme Court justices. Escobar also placed a bounty on the heads of officers in Medellin, paying even higher rewards for killing those with the greater rank. Until Escobar s death in 1993 he was considered responsible for thousands of deaths in Colombia, and was even mourned publicly by large crowds in his home city.
After years of fighting with the Colombian government Escobar offered to give himself up in 1991. He would surrender only under a few circumstances, which include not being able to extradited to the United States to stand trial, and he building his own prison that fit his needs. The only thing is everyone knew La Catedral was no prison. Escobar had paid to have it built on the site of one of his favorite resort hideaways near Medellin. Escobar lived like a king where he threw parties with gourmet food and booze, beautiful women as well. Escobar ran his narcotics empire by phone and ordered the murders of anyone who crossed him. The national police, who had lost hundreds of officers to Escobar s assassins, were forbidden to come within 12 miles of the prison.
It had taken more than two years, hundreds of lives, and hundreds of millions of dollars, much of it from U.S., to hound the murderous drug billionaire into his surrender. With the surrender of Escobar, President Gaviria was able to claim a political victory. After Escobar had served a year in La Catedral prison President Gaviria decided to move the drug outlaw Pablo Escobar to a new prison on a military base in Bogota. This was because the president was embarrassed by newspaper exposes of Escobar s lavish life behind bars. President Gaviria was also under pressure from the Americans, who had put millions of dollars into the Colombian police pursuit of Escobar that had helped with the surrender of Escobar.
Now, in one night, it had all come undone Escobar had vanished. The president s vice minister of justice and his Bureau of Prisons chief had gone in themselves without authorization to talk with Escobar, and both had been taken hostage. The scene at La Cathedral left one soldier killed in the raid. Two Bureau of Prisons guards had been wounded. Five of Escobar s henchmen had been captured, but nine walked out with him. Gaviria now feared the Americans would assume that Escobar had gotten his way again because all Colombians were corrupt. The last thing Gaviria needed was for Escobar to be running loose again, setting off his car bombs and his hired assassins. Now Gaviraia was sure of one thing: This escape was Escobar s last. There would be no more investigations, negotiations, trials or imprisonment.
There had always been restrictions on what American military forces were allowed to do in Colombia. But now, insulted and embarrassed, Gaviria said that as far as he was concerned, the door was wide open. Despite Colombian constitutional barriers and widespread public to foreign troops on their soil, especially American troops, Gaviria said, he would welcome any and all that could help fine Escobar.
When this all came to a violent end in the year 1993, Escobar had concern for his family s well being and made two major mistakes. He called his wife to have her stay in Bogota, but the call was traced. He also phoned a Medellin radio station to complain about the German government. Tracing the calls they formed a seventeen-block search, where they cut off communication lines and surrounded the building. Officers then stormed in with gunshots, Escobar returned fire and then tried going through a second story window where he was shot with machine gun bullets.
Pablo Escobar was considered to be part of the modern day gangster. The time, in which he came into organized crime, the new breed was in the developmental stages. Escobar helped to show what the modern day drug trafficking was about and where it was headed. His style was completely new in that it was not done traditionally as his Italian and Jewish counterparts. He helped build the building blocks for the new breed of gangsters.