The Truth About Pablo Escobar’s Death

For many, Pablo Escobar was a ruthless drug kingpin and a murderer. For others, he was a savior — a Robin Hood figure that stole from the rich and gave to the poor. In 1991, Escobar surrendered himself to the Colombian government and built “La Catedral,” a luxurious prison that came with a casino, spa, and nightclub (via Biography). When authorities tried to move Escobar to a standard prison, he escaped and a 16-month manhunt ensued.

On December 3, 1993, Colombian troops stormed his hiding spot in a middle-class Medellin neighborhood. Escobar and his bodyguard fled to the rooftop where he was fatally shot. According to Insider, a bullet entered his right ear, killing him instantly. What no one is certain about, however, is who fired the shot that would ultimately kill the wealthiest drug lord the world had seen. In the confusion and excitement, no one saw who pulled the trigger. Although many take responsibility for his death, the exact details still remain a mystery.

Who killed Pablo Escobar?

In 1989, the Colombian government created the Search Bloc (a special police unit,) to deal with Escobar and the cartel. With the help of the CIA, the DEA, and more, they hunted Escobar down with a hail of gunfire on that Medellin rooftop (Via Insider). They are officially the ones responsible for his death. However, soon after, reports emerged that Escobar had fired the gun himself. His son, Sebastián Marroquín, backs this up in his book “Pablo Escobar: My Father.” There, he details that his father told him he would shoot himself in his right ear to avoid being captured. Others, including Escobar’s wife and mother, agree that the gunshot was self-inflicted. 

Los Pepes, a group made up of Escobar’s rivals and enemies, also take responsibility for his death. It is said that they too participated and accompanied the Search Bloc on the raid that killed Escobar. Although those details remain murky, a Los Pepes member claims to be the one who fired the shot with an M-16. Despite the overwhelming evidence that Los Pepes were working with the Search Bloc, nothing has ever been officially confirmed. That being said, it seems no one will ever truly know who killed Pablo Escobar, a man who according to Biography, was responsible for more than 1,000 deaths and whose net worth was at one time $30 billion.