Who killed Pablo Escobar and why

Contract killer "Popeye" is dead : Obituary for Escobar's "murderer of trust"

Jhon Jairo Velásquez, known as "Popeye" was a man of the best manners, polite and very punctual. The handshake firm, on both arms was tattooed: "El General de la Mafia."

At a meeting in March 2017, he was walking through the lobby of a hotel in Medellín, businessmen interrupted their conversations, stood up and nodded to him. On the way outside to a table by the pool, a young woman asked for a selfie with Colombia's most famous hit man. "Popeye" put her in a headlock and grinned.

One of the first questions he asked at the time was: "How do you shoot a person?" "Popeye" sipped the freshly squeezed orange juice, made a pistol from his index finger and thumb, pressed the index finger to the middle of the interviewer's forehead and made a click sound. "Bang, one shot is enough, it just has to be well positioned."

In a flash he surprised opponents, suddenly pulled out his pistol during a conversation and made short work of it. On the orders of drug lord Pablo Escobar, he even had his own lover murdered. She is said to have worked as a spy for the Cali cartel. "Popeye" had her come to a bar and called there. When she answered the phone, accomplices shot her in the head.

He was involved in 3,000 homicide assignments

He killed more than 250 people himself, was involved in 3,000 murder assignments, and called himself Escobar's "murderer of trust". "We dropped 250 bombs in the country, killed 540 police officers and injured 800," he said at the 2017 meeting in Medellín. In response to the objection that such a murderer would not be so courted in Germany, even if he had served 23 years and three months in prison, he replied: "Esto es el trópico."

In good German: That's how it is in hot Colombia. He was a frontier worker. Netflix made a series about him, he bragged about his crimes - and marketed them. In 1989 he also helped organize the attack on an Avianca plane that killed 110 people.

In 1992 he turned himself in. After serving three-fifths of the sentence, he was released on parole in 2014, also for unpacking about backers. Since 2018, he has been back in prison for crimes such as extortion. Now he has died at the age of 57. Wherever he was able to avoid death with a bullet throughout his life, cancer defeated him - "Popeye" died, closely guarded, in a clinic in Bogotá.

At the time he said in the interview: "Ultimately, only three doors are open to the bandit: the prison, the hospital or the cemetery."

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