The King of Cocaine Pt. 3: Pablo Escobar

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Due to the graphic nature of this kingpins crimes listener discretion is advised this episode includes discussions of murder and torture that some people may find offense sieve we advise extreme caution for children under thirteen it was fall of nineteen fine Pablo Escobar control with the only weapons he knows best coercion bribery end violence series on Colombian drug Lord Pablo Escobar last week we witnessed Pablo's fall from multimillionaire Colombian congressman tradition to the United States he was on top of the world but everything unravelled when Pablo was exposed as a drug trafficker by his politic ndo mentally reviewing the cases on his docket while his driver navigated the heavy city traffic suddenly a motorcycle slipped between the Lane Bob blow and for Columbia over the next ten years hundreds of people by some estimates even thousands would die for defense to political pariah when his criminal history was exposed this week Pablo let's his facade of legitimacy drop away and takes is crime rings from street gangs to mafiosos to understand how a kingpin or Queen Pin rises to the top of the underworld laments the passenger lifted an AK47 and sprayed bullets into the back seat the assassins sped and why they fall as we followed the lives of infamous crime bosses will explore how money and power change them and how it changed the community kingpins for free on spotify just open the APP and type kingpins in the search bar at podcast we are grateful for you our listeners Pablo was thirty two years old in March nineteen eighty two when he won a seat in the Colombian Congress he was raking in millions of dollars. You allow us to do what we love let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network around them you can find episodes of kingpins and all other par- cast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to St Today's episode the best way to help us to leave a five star review wherever you're listening it really does help us this is the third episode in our four part ars every week from his cocaine empire and his congressional seat granted immunity from prosecution for he is a legal drug trade including protection from it Kohl rival Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara in August nineteen eighty-three Laura supported the national newspaper El espectador Pablo Escobar the judge earned his death sentence by issuing a warrant for Pablo's arrest his assassination marked the beginning of a new era for way leaving the judge rapidly bleeding to death in the backseat his execution had been ordered by L. Petron cocaine kingpin means of gridlock vehicles and stopped right next to the judges window there were two people on the motorcycle their faces obscured behind tented when they published a damning article about Pablo's arrest for trafficking back in one thousand nine hundred seventy six the article destroyed Pablo's political rear end spawned new warrants for his arrest Pablo's political future imploded Laura called Congress to strip Pablo's congressional immune and I'm Kate Leonard and this is kingpins apart cast original every Friday we journey inside the ranks of Oregon urges against him El Tiempo the biggest National Colombian newspaper contextualized the gravity of Pablo's political position by asking how is democracy going to continue in Columbia if it is managed and manipulated by criminals but even in the face of national pressure Pablo refused to vacate his seat and give up his congressional immunity Pablo's fall was still swift less than a month after his first congressional already even a former ally of Pablo's Senator Alberto some to fee meal issued a public statement asking Pablo to quit politics and face the appearance Pablo was public enemy number one in Columbia his life and livelihood were endanger like they'd never been before and not just from Colombian authorities Columbia had signed an extradition treaty with the United States in one thousand nine hundred seventy nine it was is designed to allow the US to prosecute and imprison the Colombian drug traffickers or narcos responsible for the nonstop flow of cocaine and other drugs Breen Court with analyzing the legality of the extradition treaty while they deliberated extradition remained in limbo Pablo's nemesis eggs into the country but Colombian President Bilas Reo Beta couture was reluctant to act on the treaty he along with many officials didn't want the Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara was ready to push that issue he told the press the more I learn the more I know of the damage that the other countries imposing their laws Columbia so instead of signing extradition orders President Bayton cour chose to filibuster he tasked the I wanNA traffickers including some members of the Medellin cartel and Pablo himself Pablo flexed back with his own lawyers narcos are causing the country I will never again refuse the extradition of one of these dogs after Lara exposed Pablo's trafficking activity as and demonstrated how Pablo's drug profits allowed him to buy his way out of jail public support for extradition increased and in October nine eighteen eighty three the Colombian supreme court ruled extradition legal extradition warrants were issued for several Colombian cocaine his life Pablo was running scared the possibility of a lifetime inside a US jail cell became more real with each passing day by February nineteen eighty-four he managed to get his extradition warrant withdrawn but it did little to ease his mind for the first time in strike first strike Pablo ordered the assassinations of the investigations leaders like the judge who issued his arrest warrant Laura many people remember him declaring. I would rather have a grave in Colombia than a jail cell in the United States men issued death threats to Laura's family over the phone Laura published more news stories about Pablo's history stealing cars but in March nineteen blow wasn't going down without a fight but Laura was up to the challenge into the spring of Nineteen eighty-four the two men matched in eighty four Laura and his partners in the DA got a big break and they used it to hit Pablo where it would hurt most his business approve da sponsored testing of new herbicides on coca feels destroying the plants and disrupting Pablo's pipeline Pablo had his hit name roughly translates to quiet land many people both in the cocaine trade and in law enforcement had heard something about Qalandia it was a legend for its fastness it's impressive manufacturing volume it significance as a symbol of Narko cooperation all city than a lab among the numerous facilities there was a school living bathing and dining facilities for several hundred workers and of course the lush green canopy the nearest road was over two hundred fifty miles away the impressive group of structures was called Frankie Land Lia the US or Caribbean islands in March nineteen eighty-four a crucial shipment of ether arrived from the lab supplier Chen but almost no one knew where to find it in the thousands of miles of untamed jungle trunkey Lonzo was one of the largest cocaine I ate busy airstrips planes were constantly landing with the raw materials needed to make cocaine including coca paste either in the southeast corner of the remote Colombian jungle near the Peruvian border was a vast compound hidden beneath and other chemicals the same planes would take off with loads of white powder cocaine bound for larger airports other labs for further Synthesis Phillipsburg New Jersey workers unloaded ninety five heavy metal drums off the plane rolling them directly into the lab they didn't know that labs in Columbia it was officially owned by Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gotcha a member of the median cartel but all the members contributed to Steve in just two Years Trang Alania had produced over twelve billion dollars worth of cocaine the enormous complex functioned more like a small Alania had finally been revealed the DA had been cunning to use ether as their entree in one thousand nine hundred eighty four for only seven companies in the world producing ether each of those companies was targeted with wiretaps and undercover agents until the cartels plyer was revealed once the guilty company was facing criminal charges they were more than happy to slip a few transponders into their product thick jungle once the invading officers realized that trank Alania offered little by way of security they put down their guns and picked up a few days later on March Tenth Nineteen eighty-four Several helicopters descended on Tranquilli India heavily armed officers find everything left behind was burned the entire compound smoldered the belongings of hundreds of workers one of the sons of cocaine worth approximately one point two billion dollars it was the largest cocaine seizure ever completed the bus work available was hard labor that paid about a dollar per week an assassination like Laura's looked like the doorway to a new life not only kind specially designed chemical equipment several airplanes twelve thousand drums of chemicals and over fifteen defected the world's supply so severely that up in Miami addicts had to spend a little more to get their coq fix after the machine gun fire on the ground it was chaos some of the workers quickly submitted to arrest others fled directly into the five hundred thousand dollars for his murder the barrios of medicine were full of young men who hunger to work for L. Petron when most her for another high profile motorcycle murder that method of assassination had become so common it had its own name Pari Gyro and Columbia his legend as the hero of the underdogs was stronger than ever Pablo had no problem finding someone to fulfil his order Colombian national police left from the helicopters before they even landed one of the helicopters remained airborne spraying Cranky Alania with Yup cameras the DA and Colombian authorities wanted evidence that could be used in court to sentence drug traffickers like Pablo to life and but it sat beside him on the seat he knew if Pablo Sakarov came for him it wouldn't do him any good he was right the in the morning strategizing with his cabinet the public assassination of the Minister of Justice made Columbia look lawless right now up next Pablo Escobar goes to war with the Colombian government if they drove the four hundred and eighteen kilometers to Bogota overnight then spent the next day searching the city for Lara in the up ahead and traffic they finally sought a gleaming white limo the windows were heavily tinted but they knew who was inside Laura sat in the air conditioned back seat there had been so many threats on his life the US State Department had supplied him with a bulletproof vest the inside two of the drums tiny transponders related their location all the way back to the DA the secret location of traffic bullies masterminds mustache twirler 's for every hero there is a villain the new podcast Orgin Urgen Mary into his underwear the other tucked a Mac ten into his jacket at seven pm they climbed onto a Yamaha motorbike and sped off in all villains explores the psychological political and emotional factors that spawned both real and fictional villains every Friday Laura was shot seven times he died instantly that night Colombian President Baytown Cour stayed up until three eight villains focuses on a different real or fictional evil doer for fictional villains you'll delve into the social influences that led to that character completely ease the workers were arrested and sent back to Bogota for processing the DA Colombian officials collected all the paperwork they could turn noon they heard Laura was traveling in a white Mercedes Benz limousine that evening the sicario sped through the streets of Bogota isn or even death they photographed and videotaped state of the art facilities in airplane hangars right alongside the primitive living conditions of the overweight is the work profitable but there was honor and working for L. Patrol on now Pablo was openly battling with two hostile governments the United States now back to the story in April of nineteen eighty four thirty four years Richard Kuklinski and the coed killer Ed Kemper some are fictional some are real all our villains oh which roughly translates to barbecue on April twenty ninth nineteen eighty-four two young men on a mission hello villains for free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts or visit podcast dot com slash villains to listen now the creation for real villains you'll learn the true story of their dark deeds and we'll explain what drove them to evil you'll hear Lumbia no choice if they wanted to maintain law and order they had to eliminate the man who so openly defied their authority L. Petron obstruction of trunk Yolanda the medein cartel didn't waste any more time in striking back they put out a hit on Rodrigo. Lara offering Pablo began a systematic attack approaching every bureaucrat he could reach with the same message plotter ope Lomo in the summer of military but he wasn't going to take a hit to his freedom and business lying down he knew that the Colombian justice system was live to dismiss Pablo's charges the judge was told asked for whatever you want and they'll put it wherever you want it in Colombia or outside the money and cooperate or you're dead but the judge didn't bite he refused the bribe the plaza that meant he would be getting almo- lead of you days later five men opened fire on that same judge as he was entering a taxi he was eighteen eighty four the judge who indicted Pablo for Laura's murder was leaving his courthouse a well dressed man approached him he offered the judge recycle stopped in front of a shrine to Santa Maria Auxiliary Dora near Medina they both said a prayer for luck one tucked a prayer card of the on the radio for an emergency broadcast he identified drugs as the most serious problem Columbia has had in its history moving forward is now being pursued by his own government US Customs the DA the coastguard federal police state police and the United States ready to prosecute and imprison the Colombian narcos funneling drugs north and Pablo was on top of their hit list Pablo just one of many some judges were presented with photographs of their children or wives during their daily routine some received death threats in the mail Pablo Escobar now not only was the Colombian government hell bent on taking down traffickers but the United States finally had the authority notable to corruption if he had all the judges in his pocket none of them would be willing to serve indictments against him or is close allies so episodes on characters like Don Vito Corleone and no country for old man's Anton sugar as well as real life villains like the ice man let's to show that they weren't an assassin trying to hide their face in the fall of Nineteen eighty-four an empty car board President Baytown Cooler would speed up extraditions to the United States Pablo's government was no longer protecting him oh Pablo Escobar held more power in the public eye than the president and that would not be tolerated president beaten courier Arken citizens journalist Mark Bodin Rights Pablo's policy of Plateau Palomo became so notoriously effective that it roll toward the US embassy in the middle of the afternoon it hit a curb and exploded blocks away windows rattled and bill rolled Pablo Escobar ordered the assassination of his Nemesis Minister of Justice Rodrigo Lara Laura's murder left the government of color l. many were murdered then Pablo's reign of terror expanded from law enforcement two informants to Amir voice telling him he was going to die the sounds of motorcycle engines became sources of sudden fear innocent writers stopped wearing help embassy staff was stripped down to a skeleton crew their children traveled to school in a caravan of jeeps mounted with machineguns diplomats moved the country then you can relax neither your life nor the lives of your family members will be in danger this subtext was clear take on the country in Armored Vehicles Pablo contracted a team of hit men to kidnap key DEA agents running the investigation against him would automatically threatened to undermine Colombia's democracy when President Beta uncork picked up his private telephone he often heard a low gravelly his most trusted allies it was where he felt most in control and most at home Pablo was far from giving up polity ran out Pablo got word that Noriega was in talks with the United States government and using Pablo surrender as a bargaining chip nine on his neck red killed for being a DA informant while Columbia existed in a state of Ancia one informants body was found with pins sticking out from under each of his fingernails and a bullet hole in his head. General Manuel Noriega Pablo slept in late and played soccer on the golf course in the afternoons he still ran his business from the lecture the honeymoon was over at the beginning of Nineteen eighty-five Pablo returned to Columbia even though his enemies were there so were soon after that the DA shut down their office in Medellin Colombia working with the DEA were punished in the brutal tradition of Laviola of his mansion by the end of Nineteen eighty-four it looked like Pablo had the upper hand but then general Noriega's hospital things shook flames shot three hundred feet into the air six people were injured and one person was killed after the car bomb terror Pablo and his family were hiding out in a borrowed mansion in Panama next to a golf resort they were the guests of Panama's dictator the three in Bogota the capital city of Columbia a finely dressed judge road in the back seat of a dusty sedan he gazed out the Boden Pablo saw his fate and Columbia's as the same and as notorious as he became he never in many ways returning to his home country demonstrated a renewed dedication to the fight his mindset is well summed up by journalists Mark uh-huh for free on spotify and anywhere you listen to podcasts them although he was defending his own freedom he also couldn't stand that another country was imposing its laws on Columbia it made even with everyone on edge Pablo still commanded respect when he stood up to speak the crowd went silent early extradited six traffickers and nine others were being held in Colombian jails awaiting transport the same fate awaited anyone aide Hacienda Annapolis this time the group assembled on a rural farm called the circle no amenities just business at the meeting there were over two hundred bodyguards who came with all the toys meaning guns lots of guns but was clear take my ideal or come and get me go ahead try it the Colombian government declined Pablo's offer in the fall of ninety bodyguard's though of course anyone who stood up to him was a dead man walking Pablo was flexing the message to Colombian authorities Lumbia look weak and it made the United States into some kind of moral savior he fired up the crowd and they all adopted his own mantra problem limited attendance to just VIP's No small-time smugglers he only wanted people he knew he could trust people of back and forth on whether Pablo actually did offer to pay off the national debt however the fact that many believed he made this offer and that he could he would dismantle his trafficking organization and turn over the bulk of his money to help pay down the national debt which at the time was probably around intend billion dollars he would even consider a brief prison sentence but only in Columbia we should note here that there's a lot couldn't accidentally stop the bullet the group called themselves the extraditables many of the leaders pledged money and their own SICARIO is oh had brought them together to discuss an issue that affected them all extradition by September nineteen eighty five the United States said success a friend than the last time he summoned them together after Martha Ocho is kidnapping in Nineteen eighty-one instead of gathering everyone at his luxurious estate toward the 'cause once again Pablo had created his own army that night in September of nineteen eighty five Pablo called another meeting of all the medicine cartel leaders the tone was a little bit Laghouat as much to lose as he did even so the atmosphere was understandably tents for the seventy cartel member better a grave in Colombia than a jail cell in the United States Pablo proposed a blood pact everyone pledged to commit suicide and throwing a massive Christening party for his daughter Manuela who was born in Panama on May Twenty Fifth Nineteen eighty-four he's still traveled with an entourage of armed Ford to back it up is telling enough of the kind of reputation Pablo enjoyed at the time Pablo was living freely in Michigan attending bullfights for now two weeks later Pablo found out what ignited the raid on the circle a member of the Mercedes Roberto was rattled no one delivered flowers after midnight especially not in a Mercedes but he shrugged it off as he told Roberto about his plans for the extraditables he drank coffee and a cake. Pablo and Roberto startled at the no one can now back to the story Pablo Escobar was at a new low in September of Ninety Z. Pablo could always be depended upon to keep a cool head a few minutes after they were done dodging bullets he could get everyone but even that couldn't save him up next Pablo ratchets up the violence if he can't be safe in eighty five it was extradition or nothing Pablo dug in his heels time to take this war up a notch arrival Cali cartel had been present during the gathering the Cali cartel member had alerted the government to Pablo's position hoping the brothers continued talking and eating for a few hours until a terrible sound made them freeze gunshots right before allowing themselves to be captured by Americans they agreed on a preferred method a gun shot right behind the year where the skull door he told the gorgeous woman that she had the wrong address there was no Dr Hernandez here she apologized and drove off in her pristine gunfire faded behind them many people kept running but Pablo slowed to a walk telling them you guys are going to kill yourselves running where you can't against it the United States would have to cease extradition Pablo's set the extraditables to the task of swinging the judges opinions laughing after walking all night the group came upon another of Pablo's bodyguards who had managed to escape by car they were safe one of the bullets grazed Roberto some of the body guards in farmworkers took off to running barefoot in their pajamas or underwear even as the to secure their own immunity from extradition by giving up Pablo Pablo sense of security was shattered in a group of men he thought we're all his guests left Kabo relaxed at the circle with his brother Roberto Pablo was feeling secure and powerful invincible even we are capable of anything absolutely everything one judge with a heart condition received a tiny coffin person the other end said we know where she is the pressure increased every day but despite the threats the justices remain have supposed we know exactly where they are we will do away with your entire family we have no compassion whatsoever precedings in just a few minutes they would rule on extradition suddenly the courtroom doors opened and guerrillas we're friends all it took was one trader to almost ruin him the rest of his life would be spent in a state of high paranoia for to turn himself in it was time for the extraditables to show their teeth. Although the Colombian Supreme Court had ruled extradition legal aimed steadfast all the Intel coming out of the court was that the judges plan to uphold the treaty extraordinary measures were called analyzed with his name when another judge's daughter was about to undergo an operation the hospital phone rang the throaty voice gallery rush down to the floor pulling guns from under their clothes in fact they weren't civilians they were guerrillas in disguise the judges all received threatening letters we declare war against you we declare war against the members of your family as you may have lawyers and staff hostage the security guards were already dead the guerrillas blocked all of the exits with furniture disassembled in the Protocol Salon of the National Palace the Colombian National Anthem was playing to signal the start of judicial eighteen eighty five he had been run off his own farm in the middle of the night escaping by the skin of his teeth the Colombian government had refused his Kabila when Roberto didn't wait to find out who was firing they just ran blindly into the pitch black wilderness behind the circle the shots continued Atlanta Ctober nineteen eighty-three the issue was being brought before the Supreme Court again in the fall of nineteen eighty five if the court ruled m nineteen after that affair had been completed now working under contract for Pablo M nineteen took three hundred supreme court judges sound of someone at the door it was after midnight there was no reason for anyone to be on the property a bodyguard reported that there was a beautiful well dressed woman at the door she arrived in a Mercedes and claimed she was there to deliver flowers to Dr Hernandez Roberto went to the the records that could put him in prison in the United States were burning of course so was a building full of exhausted hysterical dressed in green army fatigues stormed in they were armed to the teeth with machineguns rifles and grenades civilians in the were destroyed he couldn't be extradited by the second day of the siege all attempts at hostage negotiation had failed at one back the day ended with guerrillas in control of the building the entire nation including Pablo watched the situation live on television extradition and in the next breath wanted President Bayton core prosecuted for reneging on his promise to achieve peace takers a tank smashed through a wall of the building finally allowing the troops access to the inside the guerrillas used live hostile his primary goal was actually much more simple the destruction of the evidence supporting his own personal extradition if the records Asian he was waiting for one thing fire although Pablo hope the occupation of the building would change the ruling on extradition there's rocket launchers and snipers the military launched rockets into the historic judicial building blasting holes into the wall live smoke started to billow out from the upper levels of the building watching at home Pablo made a rare show of emotion he smiled ostriches and guerrillas everyone crammed into a bathroom on the first floor a shelter from the flames Pablo's reign of terror head had the desired effect yet again Pablo maintain the upper hand with pure violence you're on November sixth nineteen thousand five the twenty four Supreme Court just over a hundred people died in about a dozen were missing and never found eleven supreme court justices were among the dead the Colombian police and military responded to the hostage situation hundreds of troops arrived in tanks and helicopters with grenade launcher and mounted their machine guns on top of the piles they made demands ranging from the predictable to the absurd they demanded the prohibition of surviving judges criticized President Bayton cores lack of effort to negotiate and the final ruling on extradition was delayed indefinitely so they snuck into the building the day before and slept there overnight to be optimally placed for the occupation in the morning Pablo had enlisted the next morning President Bayton cour still refused to negotiate instead he authorized a full military assault on the hostile US lawyers and judges were reported daily Guillermo Kono Isaza wrote in the national newspaper El espectador the help of m nineteen the same guerrilla group that kidnapped Martha show up back in one thousand nine hundred eighty one he had built up a good relationship with ca intercepted there were five more that went through at this point he was smuggling about twenty million dollars worth of cocaine in throughout nineteen eighty-six he used the same plateau aplomb oh tactics to keep the justice system in line the murder of rebellious journals Dr dropped troops onto the roof only to be hit with guerrillas sniper fire through the skylights the fighting was fierce but police were ultimately the indictment including El espectador the papers director Guillermo Cano Isaza had remained an outspoken critic of the cartel they went public with an indictment of all the leaders of the Midi gain cartel including Pablo newspapers all over Colombia covered being more drug shipments during nineteen eighty six than they ever had before they were barely making a dent in Pablo's business for every shipment the multiple residences always surrounded by a tight group of bodyguards Pablo owned about twenty taxis and medicine which us tells thousands attended the slain journalists funeral the day after his death the newspaper ran the headline Sigi Mos just as human shields as they tried to escape soon the building was overrun by the military the siege was over all told point there was a working phone line but all the gunfire and explosions made communication impossible at seven PM on November sixth nineteen eighty-four but something was changing in the beginning of nineteen eighty seven more and more people were beginning to openly speak against the cartel it had become a death sentence in Columbia Konno's blood sprayed all over his family's Christmas Ruari fourth nineteen eighty seven Medellin cartel leader Carlos later was arrested near Rio Negro Columbia some sort Allante we go on although Pablo and Colombian and US authorities continued to strike at each other tit for tat since anyone might expect this much death to wear down the people of Colombia into a numb state of inaction in the back seat of his station Wagon Christmas presents he bought for his family on his lunch break he was waiting to make a left turn when he heard the sound on swell of public opposition to the cartel made the fight feel different it finally looked like the tides might be turning against the narcos on during nineteen eighty-six Pablo kept living it up and met with his family he went out to clubs and hosted parties fifth nineteen eighty-seven the Colombian Supreme Court ruled that extradition law had been ratified unconstitutionally. It was a win on this is say that Pablo gave up later in order to curry favor with authorities whether that's true or not the arrest did not look good for Pablo realized what was happening they fired back and killed one of the SICARIO does not only had Pablo's mission failed but it had been foiled and things got even better for Pablo due to lack of evidence an improperly obtained evidence his indictments for the murders of journal each shipment but the government dealt Pablo a severe blow on November seventeenth one thousand nine hundred eighty six about two weeks before his thirty seventh birthday used for transportation since all vehicles were identical it was difficult track Pablo's movements around the city although the DA was bust dating back to the nineteen seventies and all the pertinent witnesses had been killed for the first time in four years it really the People Pablo claimed he was serving on New Year's Eve nineteen eighty seven Pablo should have been celebrating his victories he was welcome on Pablo's orders they were there to take Martinez hostage to use as leverage in negotiations with the government but when Martinez neighbors old Manuela and eleven year old Juan Pablo to sleep in a steel reinforced multistorey complex called Monaco hobble referred you're it seems we have decided to live with crime and declare ourselves defeated the drug cartel has taken over Columbia he was fighting for the people of Colombia that gave him purpose power and authority but now his nation's love for him he looked like he was going to be off the hook but even though his legal troubles were fading away Pablo had lost something he always seem to be draining away if felt like the very

Coming up next