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Pablo Escobar, Drug Baron: His Surrender, Imprisonment, and Escape

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism Volume: 19 Issue: 1 Dated: (January-March 1996) Pages: 55-91
D P Thompson
Date Published
37 pages
Pablo Escobar was a leading drug baron of Colombia until his death in 1993; this article reveals another side of Escobar and then discusses the details of his negotiated surrender and gives an hour-by-hour account of events prior to his escape on July 25, 1992.
Colombian Pablo Emilio Escobar Gavira, leader of one of the largest cocaine processing and distributing organizations in the world, was shot to death in December 1993 by a special force of police officers. He was first arrested on drug charges by Colombian authorities in June of 1976. The story of his life between that first arrest and the day he died has never been fully told. Pablo Escobar was greatly influenced by his godfather, and he was active in local civic action programs since his early teens and an organizer and activist in student groups throughout his high school years. Even after he began to accumulate millions of dollars in the cocaine enterprise, he formed organizations that provided housing for the homeless and assisted the residents of marginal barrios in his adopted hometown of Medellin. The primary thrust of his civic efforts was an insistence on community pride and a collective demand for individual rights. After seven years on the run, Escobar surrendered to Colombian authorities in June 1991, following the negotiation of a plea bargain agreement. This article details the provisions of the plea agreement, which prevented any transfer of Escobar from the agreed upon incapacitation facility or any extradition to the United States. This article further describes the facility that housed Escobar and the security measures associated with it. Events that led up to Escobar's escape in 1992 are also described, based on the author's personal contacts and observations in Colombia. He notes that the Colombian Army, unaware of Escobar's escape, invaded the prison, killing unarmed prison officials. The suggestion from the evidence is that the soldiers intended to take Escobar and other inmates associated with the drug cartel to another facility, where they might eventually be killed or from which they might be extradited to the United States, in violation of the plea agreement. Escobar sought to turn himself into the government after his escape under new terms, but no agreement was finalized before he was killed by the special force of police officers. 13 notes


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