The sixth episode and final episode of How to Become a Mob Boss focuses on the rise of Pablo Escobar to the rank of one of the most powerful drug mafias in the world. He had undertaken strategic measures to keep the ball in his court but had eventually failed. It was not by mere luck that he had managed to become the world’s largest drug trafficker. He had gotten himself into murky waters to attain power! Did Pablo manage to uproot the law of extradition? Did Pablo eventually survive the government’s hunt? Let us find out!
How Did Pablo Escobar Come To Power?
Pablo had risen from the streets of Medellin, Columbia, and was the head of the largest drug syndicate in the world. He was a ruthless criminal with Machiavellian instincts and good business skills that helped him create an empire of 30 billion dollars. The kingpin was so powerful that he almost had an entire nation under his thumb! As per Asha Rangappa, the former special agent in the FBI, he was a criminal mastermind and had the goal of making one million pesos before he was 30 years old. The author of “The True Life of Pablo Escobar” states that his mother was a teacher and his father a farmer, which highlights his economically strained status. Escobar had struggled in the underworld to become a player in a big cigarette smuggling operation and then built his foundation as a drug trafficker. Steve Murphy, a DEA agent, said that the cocaine business yielded higher profits as compared to marijuana. Around a kilo of cocaine cost 50000 dollars, and there was a return of 80000 dollars, which was a huge profit! In 1975, Pablo was a low-level drug trafficker, but after murdering Fabio Restrepo and taking over his drug trafficking organization, he became a well-known name in the cocaine industry. He wanted to have the entire Columbia in the palm of his hand, so he tried keeping the local police on his side. By 1976, Pablo had become a top-notch cocaine dealer in Medellin!
What Strategies Did Pablo Embrace?
Pablo had been a great investor in the coke labs, but transportation was an issue. However, the Columbian secret police, known as DAS (Departamento Administrativo de Seguridad), were acting as roadblocks. They discovered 39 kg of raw cocoa paste inside the spare tire. Pablo tried offering a bribe, but that did not work. He was handcuffed, but he had managed to bribe the judge and was eventually let out. He then murdered the DAS agents to set an example for the others. He placed the options of either accepting the silver or taking a bullet.
He further tried turning all his competitors into allies and made strategic alliances to make money together. Some criminal supergroups include the Sicilian mob boss Gaetano Badalamenti’s partnership with the American mafia to traffic heroin. Sister Ping had a 40 million-dollar empire built on a collaboration with her former rivals, the Fuk Ching gang, to help in the human trafficking business. Pablo also explored cooperation with his competitors in the business.
Another strategy of Pablo included being charitable and gaining mass support, just like other mob bosses. Carlo Gambino’s sons, Joseph and Thomas, made 70 million dollars from a trucking scam and invested it in funding a children’s cancer center. The yakuza under Kenichi Shinoda granted aid after the tsunami in Japan in 2011. The Colombo crime family’s underboss, William Cytology, was a main benefactor of the Leukemia Research Association. Pablo came from a humble background and knew what his people needed. He was able to fill in the gap left by the unbothered government. He invested in building roads and power lines, stadiums, hospitals, housing complexes for needy residents, and private zoos. He also sponsored local soccer teams, handed money to poor people, and gave to the church, making him a sort of Robin Hood in his community.
What Events Led To The Formation Of M.A.S.
Pablo faced a challenge in Columbia when an insurgent group started kidnapping wealthy groups of people for ransom. They were also kidnapping the drug tycoons and their families.
Marta Ochoa, sister of the Ochoa Brothers, had been kidnapped by the members of the Marxist guerilla faction M-19. The mob leaders gathered for a summit, at which Pablo said that they should stop paying ransoms. They also created their own army called M.A.S. (Muerte a Los Secuestradores) to murder the kidnappers. The price to join the M.A.S. was 33000 billion dollars, along with 10 hitmen.
The M.A.S. went out on a hunt for the kidnappers and butchered some of their members. This sent a strong message to the kidnappers, and Marta was released. Their alliance proved useful and they later formed the Medellin Drug Cartel, which became very powerful and wealthy. This group was responsible for 80% of the world’s entire drug supply and managed to have a monopoly in the market. By the mid-1980s, this collaboration helped Pablo make a million dollars in one day.
What Issues Did Pablo Have With The Law of Extradition?
Columbia was under pressure from the US government to cut down on drug trafficking, and a treaty was signed where Colombian traffickers would be extradited to the USA. This rule scared Pablo to some extent. In 1982, he got involved in politics and ran for a congressional position in his district. He tried to maintain a spotless image and eventually became a member of Congress. This made him immune to criminal prosecutions, and he attained a diplomatic visa to the USA. He also tried changing Columbia’s extradition treaty but was faced by an opponent, Rodrigo Lara, the Minister of Justice, during Pablo’s election in Congress.
In 1983, Lara conducted sessions against drug trafficking in the parliament of Colombian society and directly unmasked Pablo in a room full of Congressmen. He is introduced as a drug kingpin, but Pablo keeps denying the charges. However, after 1 year of tireless investigation, he was expelled from the party, which was a personal humiliation for him. Later, Pablo became one of the richest criminals in the whole world. He now had a new opponent, Carlos Galan, who was running for the presidential election and had promised to take Pablo down. He was pro extradition and Escobar couldn’t tolerate that. In 1989 Galan was assassinated by Escobar. Galan’s chief of staff, Cesar Gaviria, became a presidential candidate. He is attempted to be killed by Escobar while taking a flight from Bogota to California. His plane crashed, killing 110 men, but not Gaviria, as he was not on the plane. The Colombian police started hunting for Pablo and destroyed his hidden runways.
Being one of the most influential citizens in Columbia, Pablo declared war against the government. Bogota became a war zone, and thousands of innocent people lost their lives. Pablo started placing leaflets at the car bombing sites, stating that he would prefer a tomb in Columbia rather than a jail cell in the USA. The common people were terrified and started questioning the government. The government was finally able to come to an agreement with Pablo. The president, Cesar Gaviria, wanted to conduct a self-surrender program, and Pablo was told to come up on his own and own up to any one crime of his choice, and he would not be charged with any of his other crimes.
What Conditions Did Pablo Have?
In 1991, Pablo called the president and said that he would stop his bombing session and surrender if his conditions were met. He wanted to build his own prison and handpicked a few fellow prisoners so that people couldn’t kill him in prison. He also wanted to hire his own prison guards and pay their salaries, and he wanted the extradition factor to be removed. All of Pablo’s conditions were met, and the facility that he built was called La Cathedral. The prison had all the amenities, like a pool, a jacuzzi, and other things of comfort!
What Eventually Befell Pablo?
In July 1992, the government decided to move him to a different facility. He again fought the government and escaped through the back door. In December 1993, 12 years after his coming to power, the Colombian police and the American Drug Enforcement Agency were finally able to get a hold of him. He was encountered on the streets of Colombia, giving a final blow to the Medellin Cartel.
Pablo had become one of the 10 richest people in the world, with a net worth of 30 billion dollars, based on his charismatic aura of becoming the perfect example of a mobster! His aura had made him one of the most notorious drug dealers, and his strategic decisions were his main pillars! This 33-minute episode has been an absolute entertainer in its true sense!