Even after all these years, a fascination with Pablo Escobar’s life persists. From the Netflix Original Narcos to the recent film American Made, pop culture is addicted to the drug lord’s many exploits. It’s not entirely surprising. People love hearing stories about criminals just as much as they do heroes, and Escobar was one of the most successful criminals in history, doing anything and everything to secure success and power. Curious to hear about what made him rise to the top of the criminal underworld? Here are 25 Shocking Facts About Pablo Escobar.
As a young man, Pablo Escobar would steal tombstones and sell them to smugglers. By 20, he stole cars and dealt cannabis, making a name for himself in the Colombian underworld.
Smuggling cocaine into the United States proved difficult for Pablo Escobar, so he got creative. He stashed the cocaine into plane tires going to the United States and also soaked clothes with liquid cocaine and extracted it later.
Despite destroying lives and communities, Pablo Escobar is still idolized by many. Some Colombians gave him the nickname "Robin Hood" for giving out millions of dollars to the local community, building soccer fields and housing for the homeless.
To acquire even more power, Escobar ran for Colombia's Congress in 1982 and was elected. Two years later, information on the source of his wealth came out, and he was forced to resign. He killed the justice minister who leaked the information.
In 1985, a left-wing guerrilla group known as M19 raided the Palace of Justice in Colombia and took several hostages, including all the supreme court justices. By the end, many of the hostages were killed along with 11 justices. Escobar backed and financed the group to do all of it.
As a condition of his surrender, he built his own luxury prison called "The Cathedral." It had huge TV screens, a billiards bar, and a ballroom where he hosted weddings. After only a year, he fled his self-made prison.
Hunted down by CIA and a Colombian special forces unit called Search Bloc, Escobar was eventually caught at a hideout in Medellin. Purportedly, he ran across a rooftop and was gunned down by Colombian forces. However, many others claim that isn't true and that he killed himself.
After his death, Pablo Escobar's massive estate, Hacienda Nápoles, was ransacked and abandoned. Much later, it was converted into a theme park in the vein of Jurassic Park and is available to the public.