In the 1980s Medellin, Colombia was considered one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America. Pablo Escobar ran his drug cartel from this location and made millions of dollars yearly from drug trade and other illegal activities. Even though the cartel was responsible for thousands of deaths, Pablo Escobar remains a popular figure among the country’s poorest citizens.
Medellin is also home to Jhon Jairo Velásquez Vásquez. This man was Pablo Escobar’s personal friend and trusted assassin. He boasts of having killed over 250 people on his own and more than 50,000 as part of the organization. He describes himself as a professional murderer who is also an expert in terrorism, kidnapping, and other crimes. Velasquez admits that killing is easy for him to the point that if Pablo Escobar had ever asked him to murder his own father, he would have done it.
Velasquez was released from prison after spending 22 years paying for his crimes. While there, he wrote two books. His first book describes his adventures as Pablo Escobar’s hit man and the second book explores his experiences behind bars.
Velasquez, now a political activist, admits that he doesn’t have security guards because the police won’t allow it. But he is quick to declare that he is not afraid of being killed because he is in God’s hands, plus he has powerful friends looking out for him.
One of the events that triggered the brutal war between the drug cartel and the police was their complete rejection of Article 35 in the Constitution that allowed Colombian drug traffickers to be extradited to the United States. Pablo Escobar stated that he preferred to have a grave in Colombia than a prison cell in the US. And so the organization began killing and kidnapping high-ranking political figures, journalists, magistrates, and police in order to put pressure on lawmakers so that Colombians would no longer be extradited.
“When you’re an assassin, your soul dies. That’s why we don’t cry.” Velasquez explains as he candidly talks about the lives he took willingly. He shows no remorse or regret. His shooting arm is entirely tattooed with skulls. He calls it the arm of death— of the Devil. His left arm has tattoos of Jesus. He says this arm represents life.
The big question is, why is this killer being treated as a superstar?