Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria infamously ruled the streets of Medellín, Colombia, until his death in 1993. For many long grueling years, Colombians lived in constant terror from violence caused by the drug cartels. The drug-lord’s international fame has increased in recent years thanks to Netflix original series, Narcos. However, today, Medellín is reviving and thriving.
It is easy to visit the lively cities and beautiful beach towns of Colombia without ever realizing the deep wounds from which the country is still recovering. My appreciation for Colombia grew tremendously when I went on a private Pablo Escobar Tour through Medellín.
I learned about far more than Pablo Escobar on the tour. What I learned beyond anything that day, was of the resilience and authenticity of the Colombian people.
I wrote a little blurb about Carlos, our tour guide, in my previous post: Medellín ~ 6 Ways To Have A Blast In Today’s Greatest Latin American City. After all, this tour is one of my 6 recommendations. Please visit this link for more information about the tour, and for links to book your own Pablo Escobar tour in Medellín.
Here is a recap about Carlos:
Carlos is a former police officer who played an active role in the battle against Pablo Escobar and the infamous drug cartels of Colombia.
He fell victim to bribery by the Escobar clan. His option was “accept money and comply, or die”. Haunted by guilt, he turned himself into to his superiors, who pardoned him. After all, they were all in the same boat together.
Even after Escobar’s death, Carlos continued to fight against the drug-lords who plagued his country. Eventually, Carlos was run out of Colombia by an angry cartel wanting revenge for his role in an incarceration. He fled to Rhode Island, USA with his family, where they lived for 9 years. He returned home several years ago, when he received word that his enemies died in prison. Today, Carlos is grateful that his home country is finally a safe place to live. He muses that after all he went through, it is appropriate that Pablo Escobar (the man who nearly killed him on multiple occasions) is now a source of prosperity in his life.
Enough talk. This post is really to share with you footage compiled from my Pablo Escobar tour. It’s, apologetically, my longest video. But it’s really interesting (I think so, anyway) and educational. I hope you enjoy it. 😊
*This video contains content and language not suitable for children.
21 thoughts on “True Stories of Pablo Escobar and a Cop Who Fought Against Him.”
I really enjoyed your video Rach! I heard before that the Colombians get annoyed when people visit their country after watching NARCOS and make jokes or speak about Pablo like he was a hero. I learnt many interesting facts from what Carlos said. Would love to go on his tour once I am in Colombia.
BTW was also nice to see YOU in the video!
Hi!!! Thanks, as always, for your support. And yes, I totally understand why locals would be annoyed. I think a lot of tourists go to Medellin just because of the show, and they think that’s all there is to the city. It’s unfortunate. I think if you spend quality time in Colombia, particularly in Medellin, that it is a good and eye-opening experience. I definitely gained a deeper understanding of the culture after this tour and getting to know someone who was really in the middle of the violence. It’s always a matter of being a respectful and conscientious traveler. Sadly most are not, and they make it hard for those who are!
We don’t normally take tours there are exceptions. This one sounds really interesting and informative! It’s always fascinating to dig deeper into a destination with a darker past.
I’ve never seen Narcos, but I really like your angle of Carlos’ take on Pablo Escobar.
What an interesting sounding tour! Not something I would think about doing while visiting Colombia but it sure sounds like a worthwhile trip.
It really was worth while! I think it helped me understand what the people have been through there. 🙂
wow amazing material and very interesting, when I was in Medellin, I stop a taxi and the driver was telling me a story when he meet Pablo Escobar when he was a kid and shake his hand after a football game, in that time Pablo built in poor neighbourhoods soccer fields for children and he used to go there to see them play. Surely in Medellin everyone knew Pablo in some way or another. Thanks for sharing… Amazing post!
My pleasure! I am glad you enjoyed it. A lot of people (especially in Medellin) really loved Pablo Escobar because he did so much for his neighborhood when he had the money to. His funeral was huge and people were crying for him. Our guide said, and it’s in the video that it depends who you ask about him. There are people who thought of him as a Robinhood character… it’s such a strange juxtaposition.
Fantastic off the beaten path tour. Totally my style.
Really interesting, yet demented modern day Robinhood story. I always felt he treated his community generosity as penance for his crimes. However, he fell well short of achieving an equilibrium.
I agree with the video being long. But if the content is good, I never have a problem with that.
Thanks for sharing your experience and keep traveling.
Adventure is better when shared with friends!
Thanks for checking out my post! I agree with you completely. It’s like he thought he could erase his wrongdoing by helping his hometown. If you ever get to visit Colombia, I recommend this!
And I must admit, I love solo travel as much as I love together travel. Both are different and wonderful experiences 🙂
Narcos! I have been wanting to watch it on Netflix for a long time now. You have covered it so beautifully, and destinations with such contrasting past are always interesting.
Thank you 😊 il watch it over the weekend.
Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it. The show got the history pretty accurate, I hope you enjoy it 🙂
Long story cut short. Great job there!
Thank you 🙂
Well done! Hist “prison” is indeed an interesting place. That is a long video, but really worth watching. In our time, when everyone is obsessed with GoT travel, it is so important that someone takes there time for covering the real stories and places. Thank you for the video and Good luck blogging!
I very much remembering the stories of Escobar and his terror over Colombia. I am so glad to hear that Medellin is a thriving area that is no longer the murder capital of the world!
It took great people like carlos to reclaim their homes and I am glad they have!
Absolutely! Medellin is an incredible city today, and it was a tough road to get there. 🙂 Thanks for checking out my page!
Luv the video and so good to know the other side of the story as we were only aware of the facts what we saw in narcos.. I will share this post with my friends if ok for you
Thank you so much for watching and for sharing! I always appreciate the support!
Well you learn something every day. I might check out the Netflix show now. Interesting take on a destination and a country I know little about. Thanks for your insight and history.
My pleasure! I am thrilled that you got something out of it. Colombia is a wonderful country!