On This Day — Pablo Escobar is killed in Medellin (December 2 1993) [2020]

“What we’ve learned is that if you look at history what happened with the Medellin Cartel after we took them down, Cali Cartel got stronger, right? Then we take them down, and North Valle Cartel takes over. We’re taking down cartels, and another cartel is born.”

Javier Pena — Former DEA officer

Fernando Botero’s portrayal of Pablo Escobar’s death

December 2 2020 — Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria (December 1 1949 – December 2 1993) was a Colombian drug lord and narco-terrorist. His cartel supplied an estimated 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States at the height of his career, turning over US$21.9 billion a year in personal income. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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“My father worked for the CIA selling cocaine to finance the fight against Communism in Central America.”

Juan Pablo Escobar

UPDATE (December 2 2020) — According to the latest report by the Illicit Cultivations Monitoring System (Sistema Integrado de Monitoreo de Cultivos Ilícitos — SIMCI) of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), coca crops in Colombia dropped from the 169,000 hectares in 2018 to 154,000 hectares in 2019.

However, despite the 15,000 hectares decrease in coca crops, production of cocaine increased 1.5 percent, to 1,136 metric tons in 2019.

Either the reported large reduction in coca crops is simply wrong or else the narcos demonstrate that, with a bit of strategic thinking, you really can do more with less!

Actually, the UNODC’s drop in coca crops is at odds with figures published in March 2020 by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

The ONDCP reported 212,000 hectares of coca crops in Colombia in 2019 which is a small increase of 4,000 hectares of coca crops from the 208,000 hectares recorded in 2018. 

A few years ago, I convinced Colombia lawmakers to adopt the International System of Units. The Republic of Colombia became a Member State of the ‘Meter Convention’ in 2013.

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That is a step in the right direction but obviously the accounting of coca crops still needs a bit of tweaking… Or is it less?

One conclusion is however pretty obvious. Since the death of Pablo Escobar, coca cultivation in Colombia has increased about four-fold. Pablo was a bloody amateur.

UPDATE (December 2 2019) — Since the death of Pablo Escobar, Washington has  contributed around $10 billion (€8.8 billion) to Plan Colombia in order to eradicate cocaine production in the country.

The result is not entirely satisfactory. In recent years, Colombia’s coca cultivation has reached an all time high.

According to the latest annual report from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Colombia’s cocaine production rose by 25% to reach a record 1,976 tons in 2017, fueled mostly by a rise in cultivation practices, which have increased from 46,000 hectares (about 113,700 acres) in 2013 to 171,000 in 2017.

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At the time of Escobar’s death, Colombia’s coca cultivation amounted to about  40,000 hectares.

Please, keep in mind that the official statistics about Colombia’s cocaine production should be taken with a ‘pinch of salt’. The estimate is very difficult to make and can be ‘exploited’ to fudge the numbers according to a political agenda.


Escobar was often called “The King of Cocaine” and was the wealthiest criminal in history, with an estimated known net worth of between US$25 and US$30 billion by the early 1990s (equivalent to between about $48.5 and $56 billion as of 2017), making him one of the richest men in the world in his prime.

A Colombian electronic surveillance team, led by Brigadier Hugo Martínez, used radio trilateration technology to track his radiotelephone transmissions and found him hiding in Los Olivos, a middle-class barrio in Medellín.

With authorities closing in, a gun fight with Escobar and his bodyguard, Álvaro de Jesús Agudelo (alias “El Limón”), ensued.

The two fugitives attempted to escape by running across the roofs of adjoining houses to reach a back street, but both were shot and killed by Colombian National Police.

Escobar suffered gunshots to the leg and torso, and a fatal gunshot through the ear.

It has never been proven who actually fired the final shot into his ear, or determined whether this shot was made during the gunfight or as part of a possible execution, with wide speculation remaining regarding the subject.

Some of Escobar’s relatives believe that he had committed suicide.

His two brothers, Roberto Escobar and Fernando Sánchez Arellano, believe that he shot himself through the ear.

“Pablo  committed suicide. He did not get killed. During all the years they went after him, he would say to me every day that if he was really cornered without a way out, he would shoot himself through the ear.”

Roberto Escobar

Who Killed Pablo Escobar? Truth Told by DEA Agents

DEA special agents Javier Peña and Steve Murphy were assigned as the lead investigators targeting Escobar and his organization.

These true American heroes provide a first-hand lesson in history as they discuss their efforts bringing down the world’s first narco-terrorist, the challenges they faced in oftentimes hostile and life-threatening environments, and the innovative strategies they employed to successfully end the reign of terror of the world’s most wanted criminal.


Pablo Escobar — Wikipedia


On This Day — Pablo Escobar Killed in Medellin (December 2 1993)

On This Day — Pablo Escobar Killed in Medellin (December 2 1993) [2019]

On This Day — Pablo Escobar is killed in Medellin (December 2 1993) [2020]

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