The first hand stories I heard today from the people who lived through Escobar’s rise and fall were some of the most fascinating I’ve heard in my life! I contacted Medellin City Services who employ Carlos, an ex policeman who battled with the cartel for 9 years to show me around. With a loaded gun packed we travelled to the slums that Escobar built as he shared the four times he was nearly killed including a bus bombing in Bogota and an assassination attempt after he refused a second bribe from Escobar (he took the first bribe of 3 million pesos).

He told me about the year 60 of his friends were killed by the cartel and how he sought revenge in a city that was once the most dangerous in the world with 30-40 homicides daily. He shared personal photos of his time on the force before fleeing to the US to escape the target on his back. Returning years later with a family, he is one of three cops that weren’t killed by the cartel out of the 152 members of his academy. His superior was the one who shot Escobar on the rooftop, and he strongly believes Escobar did kill himself which has long been disputed.

I watched him pray overtop of Escobar’s grave “I always said you die first and then me”. His goal was to outlive Escobar’s lifespan, which he accomplished this year on his 45th birthday. I was introduced to a woman who sheltered Escobar while he was on the run. We sat in the same house she cooked and cared for him and told me all about her “hero”. I watched the two of them converse about a man that couldn’t be any more opposite in their eyes. To one he was Robin Hood, a man who gave her a house, a neighbourhood and food for her family. To the other, he was the most villainous creature on the planet, a man who killed every friend he ever had and was the reason he could never have a family in Colombia as they would be killed to get to him.

He also said for the record he really enjoyed Narcos, though it was only 40% accurate. So while an Escobar tour is nothing new, and in fact an overly saturated market in Medellin now, hearing the stories directly from a mans mouth who lived it is simply remarkable. 

THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT | nadaCliché was invited as a guest.
As always, the opinion is that of the author.


  • Damian

    Gosh, so fascinating! That’s a once in a lifetime opportunity

  • Mark

    Whoaaaa!! Looks dangerous but very cool 😉