Colombian government against Pablo Escobar

pablo escobar


Pablo Escobar grew up on a humble farm in the Colombian countryside and, through violence and cunning, he became the most powerful hub in the country – and, indeed, the world.

During the process, Escobar recruited many Colombian officials and security forces in order to protect himself and his company from rivals and government intervention.

His control over the security apparatus at his home base in Medellín, Colombia’s Antioquia department, was so extensive that, as Mark Bowden detailed in his book “Killing Pablo”, the drug lord was able to deliver a swift, bloody and almost debilitating blow to the government’s Search Bloc – the first force to take it down.

According to Bowden:

Pablo practically possessed Medellín, his hometown, including enough of his police force that one of the rules of the new search block was that it could not contain even a single Antioquian, or paisa, of lest he be secretly in Pablo’s payroll.

They did not dare to ask the Medellín police for help, as they were known to be largely in the pay of the cartel. The entire Search Bloc, even its men in civilian clothes, stood out clearly as none spoke with a thick paisa accent. On their first foray into the city… they got lost.

Antioquia, in northwest Colombia, has been a hub for drug trafficking because its dense jungle and rugged landscape help obscure operations, and because its proximity to the Caribbean and Central America in made a preferred starting point for drug shipments to the north.

It has long been a gathering place for violent criminal groups involved in illicit operations such as drug trafficking and illegal mining. The Left Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are present there and Los Urabeños, Colombia’s most powerful criminal organization, have based their operations there.

Map of Antioquia in Colombia

The Colombian department of Antioquia has been a center of operations for drug traffickers, rebel groups and other criminal organizations.

Google maps

In the early days of the Search Bloc, the group was overwhelmed. Escobar and his sicarios, or assassins, had a marked advantage.

And Escobar – who didn’t become history’s most feared drug lord because he avoided bloodshed – pursued his new enemies.

Bowden continues:

During the first fifteen days, thirty of the [Search Bloc’s] two hundred men were killed. Despite elaborate precautions to protect the men and hide their identities, Pablo’s army of sicarios eliminated them one by one, often with the help of the Medellín police.

They shot them in the streets, on their way home from work, even at home with their families when they were not on duty.

The Search Bloc’s violent introduction to Escobar came in the early 1990s, as Colombia’s efforts to combat the Medellín cartel and other traffickers began to escalate with massive aid from the States. United.

While, as Bowden notes, the heavy losses scared off the search block, they were not intimidated. With 200 additional men provided by the Colombian government, they continued their pursuit, which would last another three violent years, until December 1993.

dead escobar

Escobar was shot down by Colombian forces on December 2, 1993. The Colombians celebrated the end of their long and costly pursuit.

US government photo

Most accounts place the search block at the center of Escobar’s latest fight – a shootout that left the world’s most powerful drug dealer sprawling on a grimy Medellin roof in a bloody heap.

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