Pablo Escobar is one of the most infamous drug lords in history, mainly because of the death and destruction he caused in Colombia. And today, he is still a polarizing figure in the country, decades after his death. This is mainly because he helped many families languishing in poverty by building homes and schools for them.
However, he was a vicious adversary to those who dared to antagonize him, or by fate worked for the authorities at a time when he was trying to force the Colombian government to give up its extradition policy, which allowed drug lords and other undesirables to be extradited to the United States. His war on the government led to the death of about 3,500 people. Over 500 were Colombian policemen.
One his boldest attempts at intimidating the government was when he paid the M19 guerrilla group to storm Colombia’s Supreme Court and destroy evidence against him related to his drug trafficking activities. The following is an excerpt of a report on this by Business Insider.
“On Wednesday, November 6, 1985, members of the Colombian guerrilla group M19, or the April 19 movement, stormed Colombia’s Palace of Justice and held all 25 of the country’s Supreme Court justices, and hundreds of other civilians, hostage — reportedly with the backing of the country’s most powerful drug lord, Pablo Escobar.”
By the time the Colombian army was able to retake the building; about 40 guerrilla fighters lay dead with the number of slain Supreme Court judges being 11 out of 25. The M19 group supported Pablo Escobar’s view that the government should drop the extradition policy as there was fear the policy could be used to extradite its leaders. Pablo Escobar is believed to have given the group a million dollars to carry out the attack. He carried out related attacks on government institutions and authorities in the years that followed until he was killed in 1993. At the time, Pablo Escobar’s net worth was $30 billion.
At the time, another drug lord, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, was working hard to become the biggest drug lord in Colombia. Born in 1956, he, like Pablo Escobar, killed his way up the food chain to get significant influence in the drug trade. He is said to have assassinated Rafael Aguilar Guajardo, his boss, who headed the Juarez Cartel in April 12, 1993, becoming its head. By the time he met his death in 1997, he had an estimated net worth of $25 billion. The following is an excerpt of a report on this from Born Rich.
“Amado Carrillo Fuentes net worth came from transporting multi-ton cocaine from Mexico direct to Manhattan during his life time. Fuentes used over 27 private Boeing 727 jet airliners to transport Colombian cocaine to municipal airports and airstrips around Mexico which contributed too much to Amado Carrillo Fuentes net worth.
“Before his death, Fuentes’ cartel was shipping multi-ton shipments directly into Manhattan, and million dollar payments to Carrillo were seized at the El Paso-Ciudad Juárez border. Fuentes had been hunted by law enforcement since he took over the cartel in April 1993 after the death of Rafael Aguilar Guajardo.”
And just like Pablo Escobar, it is still unclear today who or what killed him. Nicknamed the “Lord Of The Skies” for his affinity for transporting drugs by air, he died under mysterious circumstances in a hospital while undergoing liposuction and plastic surgery to change his appearance. He was, at the time, trying to evade Mexican and American authorities who were on his trail.
According to doctors present during the operation, he died from a heart attack. However, Televisa, the Mexican television network, cited sources at the hospital who stated that he was killed by lethal injection or suffocation using a pillow. This is as reported by the Independent. Unlike Pablo Escobar, he chose to bribe the authorities when things got complicated instead of outwardly waging war.
[Featured Image by Luis Benavides/AP Photo]