Colombia — Escobar Hitman Arrested for Extortion

“Only those who went hungry with me and stood by me when I went through a bad time at some point in life will eat at my table.”

Pablo Escobar

“In an interview last year, a source within the Oficina de Envigado— the collection of Medellín crime groups that controls most of the city’s underworld — told InSight Crime that Popeye was blackmailing frontmen for the late Escobar who had held on to assets linked to the Medellín Cartel’s illicit activities.”

Business Insider — (May 25 2018)

Vasquez, better known as ‘Popeye,’ started working for Colombian drugs lord Pablo Escobar at the age of 18, rising up the ranks to become his most trusted hitman

May 25 2018 — Colombian police have re-arrested “Popeye”, the former Escobar hitman as part of an investigation into extortion. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency participated in the investigation. Follow us on Twitter: @Intel_Today

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Jhon Jairo Velásquez — better known as Popeye —  was sentenced to 52 years in prison in 1992 and confessed to participating in around 300 murders and ordering some 3,000 others.

Popeye was paroled in 2014 after confessing to hundreds of murders and spending 22 years in jail.

The mayor of Medellin — Federico Gutierrez — announced his arrest in a tweet. The chief prosecutor’s office confirmed the arrest but provided no details about the investigation.

Velásquez was paroled in 2014 after confessing to hundreds of murders and spending 22 years in jail for plotting the assassination of a former Colombian presidential candidate.

He has since gained notoriety as a YouTube star who espouses conservative political views and hate-filled diatribes against leftist rebels and Venezuela’s socialist government.

Last week, he threatened supporters of Colombia’s leftist presidential candidate Gustavo Petro, warning that his “rifle will speak for me”. [Guardian]

According to a well-informed source, Popeye was blackmailing frontmen for the late Escobar who had held on to assets linked to the Medellín Cartel’s illicit activities.

“He was trying to recover property [and] money that he left years ago in the hands of narcos, and that very likely was inherited or received by their relatives, who are the ones who have been pressing and are the ones who denounced him,” a source told El Tiempo.

Escobar’s Hitman: Former drug-gang killer, now loved and loathed in Colombia

John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, aka ‘Popeye’, is something of a local hero to many in the Colombian city of Medellin.

He’s stopped in the streets and asked for autographs and selfies. His celebrity is undiminished after spending 23 years in jail.

In the heyday of the infamous Medellin drug cartel, he worked for Pablo Escobar as a hitman, and still says he enjoyed the job in which he tortured and murdered literally hundreds.

Unsurprisingly, not everyone sees him as a hero.

REFERENCES

Colombian police rearrest Escobar hitman for extortion — Guardian

Colombia has arrested Pablo Escobar’s former top hit man — and the US helped bring him in — Business Insider

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Colombia — Escobar Hitman Arrested for Extortion

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