He was, at one point in history, the richest man alive by a landslide. He was always two steps ahead of authority and opposition. He was the voice of the poor, the champion of the weak and the kingpin of the largest narcotic industry to have ever graced the harsh and unwelcoming world. He was Pablo Escobar and his fatal flaw was love.
Billions of ‘gringo’ green money flowed in and out of Escobar’s pockets in the eighties, and the funds were directed straight to the benefit of the poor and needy. The drug lord was a family-man and his heart was kind. Pablo Escobar eventually rose to snatch the position for the most wanted man on earth. But the people of Colombia loved him, who would turn in such a saint? The police were slaughtered like pigs in the streets of Bogota and Medellin. This deterred his capture significantly. Authorities were unwilling to put their families’ life to imprison would some would consider an asset to the country’s economy. Nevertheless, Escobar, with his faithful wife and two beautiful children, was determined to thwart every effort made by those who dared interfere his mission of flooding the dank alleyways and million dollar beach houses of Miami with the white, fine euphoria inducing dust, cocaine.
All was well until the late eighties came around. Pablo Escobar’s drug trade had been flourishing, but with it grew a strong opposition, a force to be reckoned with, but underestimated by the man. A great deal of weird and illogical (on paper) events took place before Pablo Escobar decided to retort. One may not have noticed, but his first mistake had already happened, that is, not thinking much about the opposition cartel’s influence and reach.
Slip up number one. This perhaps set the events following his escape from his own prison (yes, really…) into a wild and unstoppable motion. The Cali Cartel, as they had called themselves, took its first noticeable move when they raided Pablo Escobar’s home guns and explosives ablaze.
The Escobars barely escaped with their lives, leaving the kingpin’s daughter deaf in one ear, and the kingpin himself livid as ever. When a man’s family is attacked, he forgets all his defensive measures and complex escape tactics, he wants to exact revenge and that he did.
Slip up number two. Even for a man like Escobar, there were limits, and he forgot his in a state of pure, unfiltered rage. Nobody messes with his family.
The series of bombings and executions and raids and ambushes in Medellin washed away his hard earned reputation as the hero that Colombia deserved, as the common man who worked his way up into the House of Representatives, as the potential President of the South American center of trade, Colombia, into a black, evil and malignant stamp of terrorist.
The public’s support dwindled as they came to terms with his true, passion fueled persona. He was still smart, though. Smart enough to leave those few brave soldiers and police who rivaled him empty handed in what they thought would be the day they caught Pablo Escobar. Truth be told, every raid of the police was thought to be the final, but only one ever was.
At a loss of his entire militia, with his piles of money at a mere fraction of its former glory and most importantly, his family stowed away into protective custody, Escobar entered exile, by his own accord, however.
A farmhouse that belonged to his estranged father was his choice of exile. He went there with his last loyal man, ‘Limon” or Jhon.
The relationship with the older Escobar warrants an entire story of itself, so here is how it went down. His mad love for his wife and children dominated his thoughts in that boring old farmhouse and unable to restrict his primal emotion of love, called his family.
It had been months since the police had even the tiniest whisper of the man that killed ten thousand cops, the man that widowed ten thousand senoras, and the man that changed Colombia forever. The exchange of communication took place periodically and every “I love you,” was heard by the police.
Slip up number three. He was done. And perhaps he knew it, he left his father’s farm to go to the city he once owned and by the tip-off of the Colonel’s son, the entire police had surrounded his hotel. A green mist is what it looked like from afar.
“One, two, three!”
And the door banged open. Escobar fought, shot and clawed to his final breath. He escaped to the roof and only lead could bring the legend down. That was his end. They say history is written by victors and the Achilles heel of Escobar, a soft one, of love, is rarely mentioned in our history books.