Colombia’s radical plan to conquer cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar with guns and tanks is a dangerous, long-term solution, experts say.
The goal of this plan is to eliminate the drug lord, who, legend has it, has enough money to live for another 30 years. Colombia’s government wants to use Escobar’s billions to rebuild the country’s crumbling infrastructure, to pay for education for its poor and to combat the country’s rising drug violence.
But at a total cost of $27 billion, it’s too big to fail, experts say.
That means it will take a while, but Colombia’s public-health department estimates one year to bring Escobar to justice.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says Escobar remains the most wanted person on the planet. He’s known for masterminding Colombia’s 1970s-style cocaine-dealing syndicate that was responsible for producing millions of tons of the drug for worldwide distribution.
After Escobar was captured in 1993, the DEA started a public-relations campaign with news outlets and the news media. The agency said Escobar was the kingpin of a cocaine and heroin-trafficking organization that used his organization to distribute drugs to the rest of the world.
In 1993, he was captured by Colombian police, who claimed the kingpin had used and was using some of his own people as traffickers.
Colombians went on the hunt for Escobar, and in December, they captured him in an apartment in Cali, Colombia. Escobar survived a year in Colombian detention, during which he admitted his role in running drug trafficking operations.
But it was not his word against the government’s. In 2000, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota, Colombia, said, in a report to Congress, that the drug lord’s role in drugs and crime had “rendered him a threat to the national security of the United States.”
After Escobar was captured, the DEA said his