Episode 174: Pablo Escobar: Cocaine, Wealth, and Murder

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we look at the wealthiest criminal of all time, the drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Starting as a tombstone thief and moving to smuggled cigarettes during the “Marlboro Wars,” Escobar eventually founded the largest drug empire in history. His homeland of Columbia was uniquely situated between the coca plantations and the urban locations needed for cocaine refinement and was close enough to the US to smuggle nicely. Escobar saw this, realized nobody had taken control of all aspects of this enterprise, and is thought to have created the first ever modern-day drug cartel—the Medellin Cartel.

The Medellin Cartel sold most of its products to the US, but it also smuggled cocaine to Europe, Asia, and all through the Americas. Experts claim that at his height, Pablo Escobar was responsible for 80% of all cocaine smuggling. This obviously made him rich. How rich? How about the 7th richest man on earth according for Forbes. He was said to be worth the modern equivalent of $55 Billion dollars, smuggling over $420 million dollars of coke a day, just to the United States.

He had a lavish lifestyle of zoos and casinos on his own property, and he had a fleet of hundreds of airplanes, helicopters, and two submarines. At the heart of Escobar, however, was a desire for legitimacy. He won a seat on Columbian Congress and had dreams of becoming the nation’s president. When he was ousted from politics because of his murderous rise to power, however, he got all crazy and vengeful and started to kill off politicians, judges, and cops.

How many did Pablo Escobar kill? What did he offer to pay off Columbia’s $10 Billion national debt in exchange for? Why did the locals call him Robin Hood and consider him a hero? How did his best hit man earn the nickname “Popeye?” What are the details of his private prison which he designed and had built for himself? How did he die, and why does his son dispute the official claims? Listen, Laugh, Learn.

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