|Estimated value:||€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 last century. The development of industrial production and the organized distribution of cocaine made Colombians one of the richest people in the world at the time. In addition to his own wealth, he also cared about the well-being of the poorest people in Colombia. Nevertheless, his actions were always characterized by the greatest cruelty. Escobar was also known by the names “El Patrón” or “El Doctor”.
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was born on December 1, 1949 as the third of seven children in Rionegro, Colombia. His father was a rancher and his mother a teacher. The Escobars family belonged to the rural middle class, but Pablo’s youth was marked by violence and contact with drugs from an early age. Together with his cousin Gustavo, Escobar often hung around in Medellin’s red light district. There he made his first contacts with local underworld figures, was involved in robberies and became a member of a gang of smugglers that dealt in marijuana and cigarettes. Escobar showed early on the ambition to gain power and prestige and when he was only 20 years old, he and his gang kidnapped rich citizens to demand ransom for them. Some of these kidnapped individuals were killed despite paying a ransom demand.
“Career” by Pablo Escobar
In the mid-1970s, Escobar emerged as one of the pioneers in the trafficking of cocaine, the new drug of the time. He quickly realized that the cocaine business was far more lucrative than the marijuana business. Escobar’s ruthlessness and enormous ambition quickly earned him a place at the head of the Medellin cartel. Working with various pilots in light aircraft, Escorbar smuggled cocaine from Colombia to Miami and made a small net worth in the process. Later, even mini submarines were used for Escobar’s smuggling business. Escobar used bribery and intimidation to keep law enforcement at bay. He did not shy away from having judges and police officers killed. He is said to be responsible for the murder of 30 judges and 457 police officers. The Colombian “plata o plomo”, meaning silver or lead, was regularly practiced by Escobar. That means the lawmen either let him bribe them or they got his lead.
Another recipe for success for the drug lord was to appease the people of Medellin. Not only did he set up an entire neighborhood for the homeless, he even got himself elected to the Medellin city council.
Escobar used independent growers to grow its cocaine and also controlled the shipment of the goods. If a shipment was lost, Escobar compensated the planters for the loss, whatever they weighed.
Highlights of “Career”
In 1983 and early 1984, Pablo Escobar was considered the most successful cocaine dealer in the world. He controlled a large part of the global cocaine market and controlled around 80 percent of the Colombian cocaine market. In 1989, the well-known Forbes magazine listed the drug lord as the seventh richest man in the world. His private wealth is said to have totaled $2.7 billion at the time. Other sources even assume a higher net worth.
As early as 1979, Escobar acquired a huge ranch on the Rio Magdalena for a whopping 63 million US dollars, which he converted into a luxury property. This was called “Hacienda Nápoles” and even housed a zoo.
Late in his career, Escobar organized a drug shipment to the United States, stowing 10 tons of cocaine in a converted Boeing 727.
Famous Pablo Escobar quotes
One of the most famous phrases attributed to Pablo Escobar is: “Better a grave in Colombia than a prison cell in the United States”. Escobar uttered this sentence when the pressure on him from the international law enforcement authorities was increasing. 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 dead by an elite US-Colombian unit in Medellin.
tips for success
Pablo Escobar became so successful through a combination of unscrupulousness, good connections and contacts, a 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.
|Estimated value:||€30 billion|