On December 2nd, 1993, cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar was gunned down on a Medellín rooftop by Colombian drug police (working in conjunction with American DEA agents). He was 44 years old and left behind a legacy of sheer terror that resulted in the deaths of thousands (maybe even tens of thousands) of people. Killing Pablo took 15 months and cost over $100 million. Why would one person necessitate such an extreme course of action by anti-drug agents? Because, as most of you probably know by now, Pablo Escobar was the most powerful and richest drug kingpin of all time.
But what does that mean exactly? When you're the richest drug kingpin of all time, what does that actually translate into on a daily, weekly and annual basis?
Normally these numbers would be pretty difficult to determine. International drug conglomerates don't exactly release their performance in quarterly reports. Fortunately for us, in the 22 years since Pablo was killed, many of his closest former cohorts and employees have built a mini cottage industry around spilling the beans about Pablo Escobar.
One of the most infamous of Pablo's former employees is Popeye Vásquez. During the peak of Pablo's reign, Popeye basically served as Pablo's right-hand man. Popeye has admitted to personally killing more than 300 people. He also takes credit for ordering the deaths of around 3,000 people.
Popeye was recently released from Colombian prison and he has not exactly been tight lipped about his time with Pablo.
During a recent interview with Univision, Popeye gave very specific answers when asked about the finances of the Medellín cartel. According to Mr. Vásquez, at the peak of its power, Pablo's organization was earning a mind-boggling $420 million PER WEEK. That's what happens when you control 80% of the world's cocaine supply.
In case you were curious, $420 million per week translates into $21.8 billion per year… $60 million per day… $2.5 million per hour.
Can you imagine?
Now you can understand how Pablo was able to earn a personal fortune that in the late 1980s was estimated by Forbes to be $20-30 billion.