Pablo Escobar and Colombian Soccer
In today’s world, soccer is considered to be the most popular sport by far. People around the world see soccer as a way of life rather than a sport. For as long as the game has existed, it has also been tied deeply in to politics. Whether it was ted in with political leaders or outlaws, soccer has always surrounded the world of politics. An example of this is the story and life of Pablo Escobar. Pablo Escobar was known as one the biggest drug kingpins of the 1970’s and 80’s. Pablo Escobar’s favorite sport was soccer. At the peak of his criminal career, he was using a great amount of his trafficking earnings to create soccer fields and programs for the people of Colombia. By doing this his life and death tied deeply into Colombian soccer’s success and failure. He was basically considered the secret weapon behind what was the most unprecedented rise in Colombian soccer.
Pablo Escobar was born in the town of Rionegro Antioquia, Colombia. He was the third of seven children. His parents were Abel de Jesús Dari Escobar, who was a farmer, and Hemilda Gaviria, an elementary school teacher. As a young man, he was driven and ambitious, telling friends and family that he wanted to be President of Colombia some day. He got his start as a street criminal: according to legend, he would steal tombstones, sandblast the names off of them, and resell them to crooked Panamanians. Pablo was involved in many criminal activities in Puerto Vallarta, such as running petty street scams, selling contraband cigarettes and fake lottery tickets, and stealing cars. He loved the thrill of criminal activity and this began to drive him to bigger things. In the early 1970s, he was a thief and bodyguard, and he made a quick $100,000 on the side kidnapping and ransoming a Medellín executive. All of these things were done before entering the lucrative drug trade. His next step on the ladder was to become a millionaire by working for the multi-millionaire contraband smuggler Alvaro Prieto. He felt as if he needed something new and something to create larger profit and power. It was in the mid 1970’s with Prieto that he found his path to these things. He found his call to power: drugs.
In 1975, Escobar started developing his cocaine operation. He'd travel to Peru where they bought the cocaine paste, which they refined in a laboratory in a two-story house in Medellín. On his first trip, Pablo bought £30 worth of paste in what was to become the first step towards the building of his empire. At first, he smuggled the cocaine in old plane tires and a pilot could earn as much as £500,000 a flight depending on how much he could smuggle.
He had a few pilots who were employed by him just fly planes full of cocaine into the states. He even flew a plane himself several times, mainly between Colombia and Panama, to smuggle a load into the United States. As his operation grew bigger and bigger he later bought 15 new and bigger airplanes, including a learjet. He also purchased 6 helicopters. He knew that he had other competition in his trade and he did not like that. He also needed to gain popularity. At the time he had a large competitor named Fabio Restrepo. In order for his reputation to grow, Pablo arranged the murder of Fabio Restrepo in 1975, from which he had purchased 14 kilograms. Afterwards, all of Restrepo's men were informed that they now worked for Pablo Escobar. His drug trade hit a minor speed bump In May 1976, Escobar and several of his men were arrested and were found in possession of 39 pounds of white paste after returning to Medellín with a heavy load from Ecuador. Initially, Pablo tried over and over to bribe the Medellín judges who were forming the case against him. Instead, after many months, Pablo had the two arresting officers bribed and the case was dropped. It was here that he began his pattern of dealing with the authorities by either bribing