Pablo Escobar: One of the Bad Boys of Latin American History

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Ozy Magazine

He was the original narco — the ultraviolent, extravagant bad guy who set the standard.

Before he was gunned down atop the Spanish-tiled rooftops of a Medellín neighborhood in 1993, Pablo Escobar had tightened his ruthless grip on drug trafficking across the Americas. At the same time, he cultivated a reputation as a Robin Hood who tossed goodies to the poor even as he built a grandiose palace for himself on 5,500 acres, complete with a private zoo and orchard. Al Pacino’s character in the 1983 coke-and-violence-fueled Scarface was reportedly based in part on Escobar’s bloody tale. Continue reading at Ozy…

Pablo Escobar: Robin Hood or Dastard and Crook?

After the Western Hemisphere’s most wanted man, a Drug Lord named ‘Shorty’ Guzman, got nabbed by Mexican Marines this week, different perspectives whirred through the media.

The question is whether or not his capture signals progress in the War on Drugs, or chaos for Mexicans as his drug empire – the Sinaloa Cartel – splinters in the wake of his absence.

A little further south, in Colombia, the question was over Pablo Escobar, the country’s Drug Baron of the 1980s. Was a country post-Pablo Escobar really a better one? Violence continued after his death. And vigilante groups – the same ones that are cropping up across Mexico – were usually the perpetrators.

Pablo Escobar remains a controversial figure in Colombia. Many remember him as a dastard and a crook. But others view him as a Robin Hood or a Savior for the poor more than a criminal.

The AFP reports on how the citizens of Medellín, Escobar’s home city, remember him…

How now (if he doesn’t escape from prison by some tricky scheme like last time) will Mexico – and the world – remember ‘Shorty’?