Pablo Escobar was a wanted man, in his own country (Colombia) and elsewhere. Sometimes the police would catch him, but he never stayed behind bars very long. This image depicts an Escobar "mug shot" from the Medellin police.

By the time George (this link is a video interview with Johnny Depp) was the Medellin Cartel's American contact, Pablo Escobar was considered the cartel's first among equals.
George's first meeting with Escobar, in 1978, was eventful. He was astonished by the drug lord's spread. It included Arabian horses, hippos, a miniature bull ring, landing strip, Huey 50 helicopter, a radio transmitter powerful enough to reach the United States. And men with guns. Everywhere.
As George told Bruce Porter:

He said everything was protected here, the police were taken care of, that they wouldn't dare come near the place. They really didn't have a choice. They earned almost nothing for pay, and here they were asked,  "Do you want to make $250,000 and have a ranch for your family?" And if they didn't want that, it was, "Do you want to be dead?" (Blow, page 222)

Death occurred at Pablo's ranch. George saw it happen. It was the first time he had seen anyone killed. A police informer had turned himself in. If he hadn't, Pablo's men would have killed not only him. They would have killed his family, too. Escobar took care of the execution himself:

...standing about five feet away from the informer, Pablo casually raised the pistol and shot him square in the chest. The force of the impact hurled him backward to the ground, where he quivered a little and then lay still. (Blow, page 223)

Trying to act nonchalant, George listened to his interpreter's observations:

It had been his choice to come out there to the ranch instead of fleeing Medellin, or seeking the protection of the police. Had he run, he knew they would almost certainly have come after his wife and children. Such a serious offense against Pablo could not be allowed to go unpunished. So in what must have been a stark moment, the man had chosen to sacrifice his own life for those of his family.

The cocaine trade was (and still is) a mostly duplicitous, exceedingly dangerous business.

Pablo himself, in the end, would find out just how dangerous.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: Sep 06, 2015

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"GEORGE MEETS PABLO ESCOBAR" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2001. Feb 26, 2020.
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