Photo Tour: Pablo Escobar’s Medellin

In After Dark, Culture & Food by Gareth5 Comments

Medellin is synonymous with the name Pablo Escobar, it’s un-deniable. Whether you’re familiar with Vinny Chase’s poor performance on Entourage, or you’re fascinated with the underworld like I am, you know the name.

Pablo Escobar is one of the most notorious criminals that has ever walked this earth. Supplying drugs all over the world, he became a billionaire several times over and left a permanent scar on Colombia’s image in the process. He is regarded as the richest, most successful criminal in history and in 1989, Forbes Magazine listed him as the 7th most wealthiest man in the world with an estimated fortune of $9 billion dollars. [Thanks wikipedia]

One of the first things I wanted to do in Medellin was to gain an understanding of where he operated, his influence on the city, how people view his legacy and some truth behind the Medellin Cartel.

Without wasting much time (day 2), I booked a spot on the Pablo Escobar Tour at the Kiwi Hostel with Paisa Road and headed out to see the sites where the evil-genius operated with impunity for so many years.

What amazed me the most about the entire tour was that he didn’t operate in the jungle or on the far perimeters of town, he ran shit right smack dab in the heart of Medellin.

Here’s a few shots from the Pablo Escobar Tour (proceed with caution):

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

Above is Escobar’s fortress where he had guards on lookout from the terraces. After he was killed, Medellin turned this building into a police station to take another stab at the already diciest Escobar.

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

Above was Pablo Escobar’s office building where he ran all his legal and illegal business operations. This is so fascinating to me because you would never know by walking by it that it was home to one of the most powerful criminal enterprises. Most likely, it was in this building that he worked to build his “Robin Hood” reputation by building soccer fields, churches and housing for the poor. I wonder what the secretaries were like?

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

This is the site of a drug transport plane graveyard where a few of the thousands of Pablo’s planes have been decommissioned.

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

Here is where it all went down. The final battle of Pablo Escobar’s life. This was Escobar’s humble home and hiding spot in the residential area of Los Olivos, Medellin. It was here that he was trying to blend in as a normal citizen to avoid the heat coming in from the Colombian government, US special forces and rival cartels.

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

The photo to the left was taken on the roof (just to the right) behind his house, where Pablo Escobar was finally captured and killed. On the sidewalk just to the right of the little tree (bottom right of photo) is where one of Pablo’s bodyguards was also killed trying to escape the home.

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

This is the cemetery where Escobar and some of his family members are buried. His brother is still alive and from what I understand is under protection in Colombia after a recent kidnapping attempt failed. His sisters have a hot wing restaurant in Envigado (down the street from my apartment). And his son (1 of 2), Juan Pablo (now Juan Sebastian Marroquín Santos) recently went to Buenos Aires to join up with an Argentinian filmmaker, Nicolas Entel to film the documentary Sins of My Father. This Chronicles Marroquín’s efforts to seek forgiveness from the sons of Rodrigo Lara Bonilla, Colombia’s justice minister in the early 1980s, who was assassinated in 1984, as well as the sons of Luis Carlos Galán, the presidential candidate, who was assassinated in 1989. The film was shown at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and premiered in the US on HBO on October 2010.

Pablo Escobar Tour in Medellin, Colombia

Here lies Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria – December 1, 1949 to December 2, 1993

MORE INFORMATION:

Check out ESPN’s 30 for 30 Amazing Documentary titled “The Two Escobars” on YouTube:

Also, Dave from MedellinLiving.com talks about reading Killing Pablo. He also mentions the History Channel Documentary based on the book, which can also been seen on YouTube (10 parts).

One of the guides on the Pablo Escobar Tour recommended James Mollison’s The Memory of Pablo Escobar.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. gregg

    you missed one of Pablos night clubs that i visited while i was staying in medellin. It was a 2 story building that you pass when you are en-route to the airport José María Córdova in Rio negro.. The paint was blue and yellow on the exterior and was badly peeling. No other business has operated in it since pablo had it.

    I also visited his grave site, the same one you have posted in your page site. I found it amazing how his family had purchased a large plot next to the church. People were praying next to it and placing their had on the tombstone with a kiss. many people in medellin love Pablo, however when i mentioned his name to Paisas there, they cringed and didnt even want to talk about him, they simply would say,” Ah Dios mio! ” ( Oh my God)

  2. tanya berenson

    How do I reach a family member, member of the former Medellin Cartel or person of involvement with Pablo Escobar, Im a journalist and money is no object. Id like to set up an interview and walk through of the historical occurrences that happened in Colombia between 1980-1993. Please message me for any leads or suggestions. Respectfully, Tanya

  3. Joseph Foster

    Netflix true crime series Narcos spurs huge demand for Colombian women.

    Produced by Netflix, the show “Narcos” takes on the infamous Medellin drug cartel which follows the rise and fall of Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Drug Enforcement Agency agents hunting him. The story is told largely from the points of view of Escobar (Brazilian actor Wagner Moura) and U.S. DEA Agent Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook), on opposite sides of what would become an all-out war.

    Many critics of true crime dramas have always complained they are promoting crime and violence by glorification, an unintended consequence of American entertainment industries. These shows can have other interesting consequences.  The Foreign Bride industry has seen a huge spike in demand for Colombian women. This can be viewed as positive or negative, depending on social perspective.

    Foreign Brides, sometimes referred to as “mail order brides”, a term the industry completely rejects, have become a billion dollar a year business.  According to industry leaders, Colombia represented only about 3% of the market three years ago.  Since the popularity of Narcos, many companies have seen near tenfold increases in men seeking Colombian wives.

    A Foreign Affair (AFA), a company that helps men find women through international tours, says tours to Colombia are now selling out. AFA arranges group tours where 10 to 20 men travel together to Medellin, Cartagena or Barranquilla. During the tour, they attend arranged Social events where the men meet hundreds of beautiful Colombian women looking for marriage. Women can also place their profiles on the AFA web site, in the hopes of finding a husband.

    Kenneth Agee, the marketing director for AFA says, “Because of the show we are doubling our tours to Medellin for next year. Narcos has brought a lot of attention to the intense beauty of Colombian women.  Although the show is often very violent, the women of Colombia come across as very family oriented and loyal. These values seem harder and harder to find in this world. I would have to agree, because of the interest in Narcos, we even added an excursion to where Pablo’s self-built prison was located, in the hills overlooking Medellin.

    The crowning of 2015 Miss Universe Paulina Vega put Barranquilla, Colombia on the map. Barranquilla now has recognition for being home to some of the most beautiful and talented women in the world. Not only is Miss Universe from here, Grammy Award winning pop singer Shakira, and actress Sofia Vergara also call Barranquilla home.  Vergara stars on the ABC series Modern Family as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett. She’s been nominated for 4 Golden Globe Awards, 4 Prime time Emmy Awards, and 7 Screen Actors Guild Awards, all stemming from this role. In 2014, she was ranked as the 32nd Most Powerful Woman in the world by Forbes.

    David from Mesa AZ says he met more qualified women in one week than he has during the last 10 years. In 2010, Lisa Ling and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) filmed a one hour show on the AFA tour called “Online Brides – Our America with Lisa Ling.”  Even Lisa Ling was surprised by the beauty and sincerity of the women from Barranquilla.

    Janet Davis, head of a women’s rights group says “AFA is just taking advantage of women from these third world countries. This is no different than Pablo trafficking in narcotics, but these companies traffic women.” Proponents refer to a Report (INTERNATIONAL MATCHMAKING ORGANIZATIONS: A REPORT TO CONGRESS) that these marriages have much lower divorce rates and abuse rates compared to traditional domestic marriages. This data makes international dating similar to a woman in the US joining eHarmony to look for a husband.

    23-year-old Viviana, from Cartagena, says “I come to these events because I know the men attending are serious about marriage, they are faithful and are good to family. For Colombian women, it is the most important thing, good husband and good family.

    Kenneth says, “It has not been all rosy. Narcos has brought us some problems. In Cartagena, we have several Penthouses we rent out.  One was originally owned by “Don Diego” head of the Norte Del Velle Drug Cartel, the other by Pablo’s people. Over the past year, the properties have been tracked down by individuals thinking they will find large qualities of cash hidden, thus we sometimes find holes all over the walls after a tenant leaves.

    For Narcos fans, those who love the gangster genre, or just those who just like seeing beautiful Latin women, there’s good news; Netflix’s has confirmed Season 3 and 4.

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge