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Killing Pablo
Philly.com ^ | Posted on Tue, Nov. 20, 2001 | Phiily.com

Posted on 03/25/2003 9:27:47 AM PST by Hacksaw

Escobar's rise to power: From small-time gangster to the terror of Colombia

Pablo Escobar was arguably the richest and most violent criminal in history. Forbes Magazine in 1989 listed him as the seventh-richest man in the world.

A small-time gangster and car thief from Medellin, the second-largest city in Colombia, Escobar violently consolidated the cocaine industry there in the late 1970s. Elected as an alternate to Colombia's Congress in 1983, Escobar enjoyed widespread popularity among the poor in Colombia, especially in his home state of Antioquia.

He turned his violent methods against the state in 1984, when Colombia began cracking down on the cocaine exporters and extraditing them to the United States for trial.

His campaign of murder, kidnapping, bombing and bribery from then until his death in 1993 forced a constitutional crisis in Colombia. He cowed 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, "faceless" judges to prosecute crimes.

At the height of his power in the late 1980s, Escobar and his Medellin drug cartel controlled as much as 80 percent of the multibillion-dollar export of Colombian cocaine to the United States.

Escobar was blamed for assassinating three of the five candidates for Colombian president in 1989, and for instigating a takeover of the Palace of Justice in Bogota in 1986. More than 90 people died in the subsequent siege, including 11 Supreme Court justices.

When one of Escobar's bombs brought down an Avianca Airliner in Colombia in November 1989, killing 107 people, he became one of the most feared terrorists in the world.

Men working for Escobar were caught that same year trying to buy Stinger antiaircraft missiles in Miami.

A heavy pot-smoker, Escobar cultivated a relaxed, informal style with his friends and associates, but he was so vicious to his enemies that he was feared by everyone. In his battle with Colombian police, he placed a bounty on the head of officers in Medellin, paying higher rewards for killing those of greater rank. By the time of his death at age 44, Dec. 2, 1993, Escobar was considered responsible for thousands of deaths in Colombia, yet he was mourned publicly by large crowds in his home city.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: drugs; drugskill; latinamericalist; pabloescobar; warondrugs; wodlist
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You can buy the book or see the documentary of the history channel, which is playing now. This is an an older article, but is relevant because of the book and documentary. It is also some food for thought for those who say that using drugs is a victimless crime.
1 posted on 03/25/2003 9:27:47 AM PST by Hacksaw
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To: Hacksaw
I saw the documentary on History Channel last night. Riveting. Astounding how one criminal, backed by drug money paid by coke heads mainly in the US, could cause such terror and destruction in a nation. His death was a long-time coming. Too bad his place has been taken by communist thugs.
2 posted on 03/25/2003 9:30:04 AM PST by My2Cents ("...The bombing begins in 5 minutes.")
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To: My2Cents
"I saw the documentary on History Channel last night. Riveting. Astounding how one criminal, backed by drug money paid by coke heads mainly in the US, could cause such terror and destruction in a nation. His death was a long-time coming. Too bad his place has been taken by communist thugs. "

You can thank the War on Drugs for that.
3 posted on 03/25/2003 9:31:14 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: toothless
You can thank the War on Drugs for that.

Nice way to transfer responsibility.

4 posted on 03/25/2003 9:33:36 AM PST by Hacksaw (She's not that kind of girl, Booger.)
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To: Hacksaw
Book is phenominal...I honestly couldnt put it down. read it in one sitting...work sucked the next day I was so tired but man was it worth it. Totally awesome read...almost as good as Black Hawk Down.
5 posted on 03/25/2003 9:35:28 AM PST by Prysson
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To: Hacksaw
"Nice way to transfer responsibility."

The WODs makes coke 10x more valuable then gold. Thats a force that goventment can't match.
6 posted on 03/25/2003 9:36:21 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: *Wod_list; *Latin_America_List
http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/bump-list
7 posted on 03/25/2003 9:36:51 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: Prysson; Poohbah; JohnHuang2; Luis Gonzalez; Cincinatus' Wife; section9; Dog; colorado tanker; ...
I saw the documentary and have read the book.

Truly, there were a lot of heroes who stood up to an evil person. Hugo Martinez Sr., Hugo Martinez Jr., the DEA Agents, the Delta and Centra Spike Operators, and Carlos Castano (member of Los Pepes and now head of the AUC) ALL played vital roles.

Castano's treatment at the hands of the State Department has been shameful, IMO, and is the one issue I have a MAJOR beef with. He took major chances on our behalf, took out a large part of Pablo Escobar's support structure, and has now turned to fight FARC, which has taken over the drug trade. His thanks? He goes on the same list as FARC and al-Qaeda, and that is a disgraceful way to treat someone who is, on balance, a hero.
8 posted on 03/25/2003 9:40:56 AM PST by hchutch ("But tonight we get EVEN!" - Ice-T)
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To: All
This is the history channel link:

Killing Pablo

The book was written by the same person that wrote Blackhawk Down.

9 posted on 03/25/2003 9:41:03 AM PST by Hacksaw (She's not that kind of girl, Booger.)
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To: My2Cents
Pablo rose to power in the exact manner of Al Capone or Joe Kennedy... except that old Joe was able to "sanitize" the family and rose to political prominence AFTER the failed War on Americans in the guise of alcohol prohibition ended. The OTHER gangsters we were gifted with by the first Prohibitionists stayed with crime and today are fattening on the profits garnered by the OTHER war on Americans, in the guise of (some) Drug Prohibition. And THIS is what you drug warriors want to continue to inflict on Americans.
10 posted on 03/25/2003 9:42:26 AM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: toothless
Yeah, we should simply let these criminals run loose, terrorize and butcher their innocent countrymen, and let Americans smoke or snort themselves into oblivion....Watching "Killing Pablo" made me realize, even more, the necessity of the war on drugs.
11 posted on 03/25/2003 9:43:52 AM PST by My2Cents ("...The bombing begins in 5 minutes.")
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To: Hacksaw
It is also some food for thought for those who say that using drugs is a victimless crime.

You can write a nearly identical article, substituting "Capone" for "Escobar" and "Chicago" for "Medellin", and conclude that it is food for thought for those who say that drinking alcohol is a victimless crime.

Wouldn't you agree?

12 posted on 03/25/2003 9:45:35 AM PST by Physicist
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To: hchutch
Castano's treatment at the hands of the State Department has been shameful, IMO, and is the one issue I have a MAJOR beef with. He took major chances on our behalf, took out a large part of Pablo Escobar's support structure, and has now turned to fight FARC, which has taken over the drug trade. His thanks? He goes on the same list as FARC and al-Qaeda, and that is a disgraceful way to treat someone who is, on balance, a hero.

I think the AUC is still regarded as a "necessary evil" by both Columbia and the US. There is supposedly a lot of cooperation between the Colombian military and AUC, even though they have disavowed them (sort of like Los Peppes and the Columbian National Police). As long as they keep fighting communists, they will (IMO) get a wink and a nod even as they are trashed publicly.

13 posted on 03/25/2003 9:45:40 AM PST by Hacksaw (She's not that kind of girl, Booger.)
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To: Physicist
Wouldn't you agree?

Not really. Capone did not target completely innocent civilians and assasinate presidential candidates. He was a violent man, but nowhere near the scale as Escobar.

Even so, it does not make funding people like Escobar any more moral.

14 posted on 03/25/2003 9:47:56 AM PST by Hacksaw (She's not that kind of girl, Booger.)
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To: Hacksaw
Perhaps, but listing the AUC in the same list as FARC and al-Qaeda, with the penalties involved is still a problem. That list, IIRC, is reserved for group that are a threat to American interests or citizens.

Now, event he State Department said that the AUC avoids targeting American interests and citizens. If anything, they are FIGHTING groups that have targeted and killed American citizens. So why did they go on the same list as the groups they are fighting?
15 posted on 03/25/2003 9:50:18 AM PST by hchutch ("But tonight we get EVEN!" - Ice-T)
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To: hchutch
Now, event he State Department said that the AUC avoids targeting American interests and citizens. If anything, they are FIGHTING groups that have targeted and killed American citizens. So why did they go on the same list as the groups they are fighting?

I would suspect Clinton holdovers in the state dept.

16 posted on 03/25/2003 9:52:44 AM PST by Hacksaw (She's not that kind of girl, Booger.)
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To: My2Cents
Yeah, we should simply let these criminals run loose, terrorize and butcher their innocent countrymen,

Terrorism and butchery are and would remain illegal; what we'd be doing is defunding these criminals.

and let Americans smoke or snort themselves into oblivion

They're doing it today despite the War On Some Drugs.

17 posted on 03/25/2003 9:52:58 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: My2Cents
"Yeah, we should simply let these criminals run loose, terrorize and butcher their innocent countrymen, and let Americans smoke or snort themselves into oblivion....Watching "Killing Pablo" made me realize, even more, the necessity of the war on drugs."

Yea, its working out real well.
18 posted on 03/25/2003 9:57:45 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: toothless
Also, Escobar is a creation of the war on drugs. Not the other way around.
19 posted on 03/25/2003 9:59:03 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: Hacksaw
This book was written by the author who wrote BLACK HAWK DOWN. Unfortunately, I didn't read or see the latter, thus I can't comment upon it. I found KILLING PABLO something of a flat read, though. I usually devour this kind of book but this one left me wanting. Gabriel Garcia Marquez's book NOTES ON A KIDNAPPING (Is that the exact title?) was better although it wasn't as good as I had expected.

I haven't read many books on Columbia; if anyone can recommend some other books, articles, etc. please do so.
20 posted on 03/25/2003 10:01:28 AM PST by bucephalus (Why was I happier when I didn't know where Tariq Aziz was?)
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To: toothless
I'm sick of you amoral libertarians. You disgust me.
21 posted on 03/25/2003 10:08:35 AM PST by My2Cents ("...The bombing begins in 5 minutes.")
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To: My2Cents
I'm sick of you amoral libertarians.

It's not "amoral" to recognize that government isn't the proper or effective institution for fighting non-rights-violating immorality.

22 posted on 03/25/2003 10:20:35 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: My2Cents
"I'm sick of you amoral libertarians. You disgust me."

Thanks, thats the best compliment I have had all day.
23 posted on 03/25/2003 10:22:04 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: toothless
Also, Escobar is a creation of the war on drugs.

And Ted Bundy was a creation of laws against serial killing.

24 posted on 03/25/2003 10:24:45 AM PST by Hacksaw (She's not that kind of girl, Booger.)
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To: Hacksaw
Not really. Capone did not target completely innocent civilians and assasinate presidential candidates. He was a violent man, but nowhere near the scale as Escobar.

I see. You're saying it's a matter of degree. If Capone had done those things, then drinking would be wrong.

25 posted on 03/25/2003 10:26:23 AM PST by Physicist
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To: Hacksaw
"And Ted Bundy was a creation of laws against serial killing."

Right. If drugs were not illegal, paublo wouldn't have to kill people to further his business interests. If murder wasn't illegal, Ted Bundy wouldn't have to kill people to...

Wait nevermind, your example is bogus.
26 posted on 03/25/2003 10:26:40 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: Hacksaw
Escobar is a creation of the war on drugs.

And Ted Bundy was a creation of laws against serial killing.

No, unlike Escobar, Bundy didn't reap exorbitant profits that were fueled by the laws he was breaking.

27 posted on 03/25/2003 10:28:29 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: toothless
Nice!
28 posted on 03/25/2003 10:29:06 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: MrLeRoy
I have one question that is off the subject of culpability:

Where did all the money go? Did it pass undisturbed by government action to his wife and children just like any other estate? Does the book say?

29 posted on 03/25/2003 10:34:25 AM PST by wildbill
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To: My2Cents
And we feel the same about you phoney 'conservatives'.

L

30 posted on 03/25/2003 10:35:34 AM PST by Lurker ("One man of reason and goodwill is worth more, actually and potentially, than a million fools" AR)
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To: toothless
You can thank the War on Drugs for that.

You blame the WOD for everything. Even those events that occurred prior to the WOD!

31 posted on 03/25/2003 10:35:52 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: dcwusmc
And you druggies want to inflict a plague of drugs unlike any ever seen since China.
32 posted on 03/25/2003 10:36:54 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: toothless
Im not looking for trouble, I just dont understand something, cocaine must be stopped. Legalization will solve nothing but create a health care crisis. I must point out here that the most vocal people on the WOD have never experienced first hand the hell the drugs can put families, schools, communties and governments through. Alcohol is as equally destructive if not more, but its ok. I just dont get the difference. Legalization for the purpose of taxing it would be funny if werent for the seriousness of the situation...unless you want this country to go the way of Holland. Thats just my opinion, but I have no solutions.
33 posted on 03/25/2003 10:37:15 AM PST by cardinal4 (The Senate Armed Services Comm; the Chinese pipeline into US secrets)
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To: toothless
Also, Escobar is a creation of the war on drugs.

Typical druggie propaganda. Blame the WOD even though Escobar rose to power BEFORE the WOD began!

34 posted on 03/25/2003 10:38:13 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: MrLeRoy
Anarchist Alert.
35 posted on 03/25/2003 10:38:50 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: Lurker
("One man of reason and goodwill is worth more, actually and potentially, than a million fools" AR)

And we have a thousand fools supporting Soros in his quest for drug legalization, a new world order, a national police force, more UN power and absolute gun control.

36 posted on 03/25/2003 10:41:41 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: wildbill; bucephalus
Where did all the money go? Did it pass undisturbed by government action to his wife and children just like any other estate? Does the book say?

No idea. bucephalus?

37 posted on 03/25/2003 10:42:23 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: cardinal4
Alcohol is as equally destructive if not more, but its ok.

Doesn't the second part of your sentence contradict the first?

38 posted on 03/25/2003 10:44:35 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: cinFLA
bite me
39 posted on 03/25/2003 10:45:02 AM PST by dcwusmc ("The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who is able to think things out for himself.")
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To: cinFLA
It's not "amoral" to recognize that government isn't the proper or effective institution for fighting non-rights-violating immorality.

Anarchist Alert.

What a foolish post.

40 posted on 03/25/2003 10:45:21 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: cinFLA
you druggies want to inflict a plague of drugs

Did those who campaigned to end Prohibition "want to inflict a plague of alcohol"?

41 posted on 03/25/2003 10:46:15 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: cinFLA
"Typical druggie propaganda. Blame the WOD even though Escobar rose to power BEFORE the WOD began!"

Right, because coke was made illegal in 1973 when Nixion started the WOD.

Nope, wrong again.

Paublo would have been nothing but a small time carjacker if it wasn't for the power his coke money created.
42 posted on 03/25/2003 10:47:30 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: cardinal4
" I just dont understand something, cocaine must be stopped."

It will never be stoped by making it illegal.

Wasn't it Will Rogers that said we should outlaw education because within five years we will have the best educated population on earth?
43 posted on 03/25/2003 10:48:49 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: cinFLA
'And we have a thousand fools supporting Soros in his quest for drug legalization, a new world order, a national police force, more UN power and absolute gun control.'

Always worth a laugh, thanks cin.
44 posted on 03/25/2003 10:52:32 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: My2Cents
The basis of moral behavior is self-control, not external control. Ever stop to wonder why God put all of these temptations on earth in the first place? It's not the role of government to be messianic and make people good. Where there are victims there are crimes, otherwise its just a crime against the state, thought crime, etc. Giving government the power to control people's states of consciuos ness is a double edged sword. A government that can keep you from ingesting conscious altering substances could just as easily lay claim to promoting their use. Given the promulgation of Ritalin (a cocaine analog) by the Government Run Youth Propaganda Camps, that's not so farfetched. The War on Drugs is just practice for the war on guns. Once that is done you'll see all drugs legalized to further keep the population dumbed-down, mullified, and distracted.
45 posted on 03/25/2003 10:54:54 AM PST by LibTeeth
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To: MrLeRoy; toothless
Doesn't the second part of your sentence contradict the first?

The point Im trying to make is,legalization will not work. Ask any recovering cocaine addict or alcoholic. Through the Grace of God, I have overcome both. At the same time I could slip right back into the self destruction that those addictions brought me to, with the ease of swatting a fly. That is the nature of addiction. It cant be regulated...period. And that is not just my opinion, at one time it was my life. So spin it anyway you want, legalization wont work, I am living proof.

46 posted on 03/25/2003 10:56:50 AM PST by cardinal4 (The Senate Armed Services Comm; the Chinese pipeline into US secrets)
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To: cardinal4
How did you beat your addiction? Did jail help you?
47 posted on 03/25/2003 10:59:38 AM PST by toothless (I AM A MAN)
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To: cardinal4
Seems to me that, if anything, cocaine addicts are living proof that ILlegalization doesn't work.
48 posted on 03/25/2003 11:00:01 AM PST by MrLeRoy ("That government is best which governs least.")
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To: toothless; MrLeRoy
No, I woke up one day after a bad drunk and said no more. But jail had been in my past for the neglected items due to substance abuse; suspended drivers license, Fail to appear, etc. And thats the point, guys. The nature of addiction is it becomes all about the drug. Nothing else matters, I will be kept awake for the rest of my life remebering the things I have said and done as result of addiction. Legalization will add exponentially, scumbags like myself, into society, because of the availability of the drugs that are illegal now. I dont have the answer, guys, and I have revealed way more of myself that ever intended, just take the word of someone who has been there; Legalization is not the answer.
49 posted on 03/25/2003 11:07:38 AM PST by cardinal4 (The Senate Armed Services Comm; the Chinese pipeline into US secrets)
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To: MrLeRoy
Cocaine addiction knows no legalities. It will be addictive legal or not.
50 posted on 03/25/2003 11:08:44 AM PST by cardinal4 (The Senate Armed Services Comm; the Chinese pipeline into US secrets)
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