Pablo Escobar turned most of the city of Miami into cocaine during the '80s. He was so incredibly rich that he is said to have spent $2,500 a month on rubber bands to hold his massive piles of filthy drug money together. The government eventually decided to go after him over the whole "murderous, expansive drug empire" thing, but Escobar had a plan. He decided that if the government was bothering him, he should just get rid of the government.
He began car-bombing the shit out of Colombia and put a standing bounty of $3,000 on every police officer in the city of Medellin. He started assassinating politicians, judges, government officials, and even the minister of justice. The Colombian and U.S. governments cracked down hard, but Escobar simply paid communists to take over the Palace of Justice, burn down the building, and murder half the Colombian Supreme Court. We repeat: HALF THE COLOMBIAN SUPREME COURT.
Gomez Ospina/Wiki Commons, Gomez Ospina/Wiki Commons
The battle took 28 hours and involved 1,000 soldiers, 350 hostages, eight tanks,
two turtle doves, and a Pablo in a pear tree.
Escobar had spies everywhere due to his policy of plata o plomo, which we think means, "Take this bribe and be on my side or I will murder you and everyone you've ever met." The government formed a special 200-man incorruptible police squad known as Search Bloc to kill Escobar. Escobar killed 30 of them in the first 15 days. Many Colombians decided that being at the mercy of a murderous drug lord was wrong and rallied behind Luis Galan, a presidential candidate who stood against wanton, rampant violence. Escobar had him assassinated at a campaign rally. Then he blew up a goddamned passenger jet in an attempt to kill his replacement. Also, we should mention, Escobar had a personal zoo full of deadly and exotic animals. He was a full James Bond villain in a movie where every James Bond gets killed in Act 1.
The millions spent on man-eating hippos is nothing compared
with the billions made by having them eat all the anti-drug people.
So, who finally brought Escobar down? It wasn't a government sting or a police raid. It was a shadowy group of vigilante assassins known only as Los Pepes. Like all good assassins, they appeared suddenly, seemingly from nowhere. One day, Escobar's henchmen started dying, justice system be damned. Obviously, details are fuzzy when a network of well-intentioned murderers appears, but the group was mainly made up of paramilitaries, police, and rival drug lords -- basically everyone who hated Pablo Escobar. It's apparently hard to take over thousands of drug territories and kill hundreds of people without making a few enemies.
Los Pepes were as ruthless as Escobar. They considered working with the drug lord in any capacity a capital offense. They very publicly assassinated huge numbers of Escobar's men on a daily basis and left signs around their necks signed "Los Pepes." Whenever Escobar set off another car bomb, Los Pepes would just kill some of his lawyers or money launderers. Or they would blow up one of his houses, massacre some drug-related facility, or, in one case, burn down his prized collection of classic cars. One could make the argument that Los Pepes very nearly killed the phrase "two wrongs don't make a right."
"Eh, we're fine with that."
It got to the point where top cartel members, hitmen, and lawyers began turning themselves in to avoid a Los Pepes slaying. And, as his support network dissolved, Escobar himself died in a shootout with Search Bloc, an organization with a lot of alleged ties to Los Pepes. It was a murdernado of a life and a double murdernado of a death.
Zachary Frey's family laughed at his ability to remember random facts and stories until he turned knowing random facts and stories into taxable income. You can read his 10 most recent awesome articles here. Nathan Shulkin is currently trying to get his town to fill all its potholes. You can follow him on Twitter.
Cracked is up for TWO Webby Awards, for Best Humor Site and Best Video Entertainment! While we're busy patting ourselves on the back, you can pat too by voting here and here.
It turns out there's a lot more vigilantes out there than we realized. And it's all very depressing. See what we mean in 6 Real-Life Vigilantes Crazier Than Batman. And also check out 5 Real World Criminals Who Were Certified Supervillains.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out The 8 Saddest Real World Superheroes, and other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, and be the Batman to our Robin. That's right, we'll be Robin.