Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug kingpin, defied authority once again in 1981 by posing in front of the White House in Washington, DC. Pablo Escobar and his kid were visiting Disneyland on a family vacation when they stopped in the nation’s capitol for this shot.
Since its debut in the 2010 HBO documentary Sins of My Father, which portrays the life of the drug trafficker through the eyes of his son Juan Pablo Escobar, this shot, taken by his wife Maria, has been extensively shared (who later changed his name to Sebastian Marroquin).
Let us delve deeper into the backstory of this picture. However, before we get to that, let us take a quick detour into the history of this controversial individual.
To Whom Do We Refer When Asking About Pablo Escobar?
The wealth of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (1949-1993), who died at the age of just 50, was estimated at $30 billion at its height. In the latter part of the 20th century, he became one of the wealthiest individuals in the world by establishing a monopoly on the distribution of cocaine.
Escobar, one of the most notorious criminals in history, expanded the cocaine trade to a global enterprise that, at its peak, generated $420 million per week. Escobar committed a series of minor offenses as a young man in Medellin, including theft, forgery, and fraud.
Soon after, he entered the illegal drug trade and amassed massive wealth.
Profession in the Criminal World
Pablo Escobar’s drug trafficking career began modestly in the mid-1970s. He would purchase aircraft tickets and sneak bags of cocaine onto the planes in his name. He had built an international cocaine distribution network by the 1980s.
With more people using and validating the medicine, there was a more significant potential for financial gain. Rubber bands cost Escobar thousands of dollars per month since he was so wealthy.
When he was at the height of his influence, his organization was responsible for the daily entry of 15 tonnes of cocaine into the United States. Because of his status as one of the most sought individuals in the world, he spent a lot of money on his protection.
However, law enforcement officers eventually located and arrested him by late 1993.
A cult figure among Colombia’s working class, Pablo Escobar was reviled by most of the country’s population. This was partly due to his skill in public relations and his willingness to invest in his home country’s communities.
Community centers, basketball courts, and football fields were among the many facilities he constructed for the area’s working class. On December 2, 1993, Escobar’s hiding spot in Medellin was identified, bringing an end to a massive and costly manhunt.
Escobar attempted to escape by escaping across numerous roofs, but he was shot multiple times. The deadly shot came from one of the rounds. He was laid to rest in a Colombian family cemetery. Over 25,000 people showed up to his funeral, a reflection of his popularity among Colombia’s impoverished.
Some people continue to worship him as a saint or martyr in the vain hope that he will provide them with divine assistance from beyond the grave.
Official White House Portrait
Pablo Escobar was at the height of his power and wealth when this picture was taken, and he would have been worth far more than the president of the United States. At the time, Escobar was actively pursuing a career in respectable politics in his home country.
Although he appeared to have a diplomatic passport, it is unclear whether or not it was genuine. In fact, Escobar’s criminal career began with him forging official paperwork. In his native Medelln, he served as a replacement congressman and was later elected to the city council.
But the government of Colombia hated him and thought he was a significant threat to the country. He was also blamed for perpetuating a negative generalization about the entire country of Colombia. The color photograph of the White House was taken in front of a viewable side of the structure, close to Pennsylvania Avenue.
You can still stand here now, though the barrier is much taller.
Pablo Escobar’s Lasting Impact
Despite being almost 30 years since his death, Pablo Escobar is still divisive. Though most people view this drug lord as a murderous autocrat, there is a subset of the population that still holds this view. Several films and TV shows have either focused on him directly or were loosely inspired by his life, ensuring his continued prominence in the public consciousness.