Being a drug lord is risky business. On one hand, you are making millions of dollars and living a luxurious life. However, on the other hand, you are on the run from the police because your selected vocation is … well, illegal. No one knew this better than the legendary Pablo Escobar, who was arguably the most famous and legendary drug kingpin of all time. He amassed unbelievable amounts of wealth, but did some pretty horrific things to get it. After his reign of terror, authorities got a never-before-seen look at his many properties, and what was inside of them.
#12 The Infamous Pablo Escobar
Pablo Escobar achieved a level of fame that no other drug kingpin has ever seen. In the late 1970’s, Escobar fueled the rising demand for cocaine in the USA. By the 1980s, there were 70-80 tons of cocaine going to the USA from Colombia, with most coming from Escobar and his Medellin Cartel.
#11 Richer Than You Could Ever Imagine
As a result of the drug exporting, Escobar was an extremely powerful and rich man. In fact, it was said that he was worth more than $30 billion at the height of his power. He used his money for a variety of things such as buying mansions, paying off police officers and even gaining the trust of Colombian people by building schools, fixing roads and more.
#10 Criminal Career
After dropping out of college, Escobar decided to take up a career as a criminal. He began by selling fake lottery tickets and cigarettes. Soon, he graduated into car theft and kidnapping. His ambition as a child was to have a million dollars by 22, but instead of doing it legally, he decided a life of crime was for him.
#9 A Hero In Colombia
Despite all his criminal activity since he was a young man, he was seen as a hero and savior by a number of people. He sponsored children’s sports teams, built athletic fields, created hospitals for the sick and made schools. He worked hard to maintain his role as the modern day Robin Hood.
#8 But His Reputation Caught Up To HIm
Despite his public image in Colombia, many knew his true colors. He was a money-hungry criminal who had been responsible for hundreds of deaths. His criminal activity soon caught up with him as he was shot and killed a day after his 44th birthday. He attempted to escape on the rooftops in Colombia, but was chased down and ultimately killed.
But before he went on the run, he purchased a huge estate just east of Medellin. He named his estate “Hacienda” and built it into his own personal playground of sorts. His 7.7 square mile estate hosted some of the elite in Colombia such as musicians, beauty queens and the political elite.
#6 Crown Jewel of Hacienda
The main attraction of Hacienda was without a doubt the giant, 20-room Spanish-style mansion. This giant home was a glaring symbol of his newfound wealth and power. The home was also attached to a sculpture park that housed a number of expensive and beautiful sculptures. But he wasn’t even close to being done with luxury yet.
#5 The Zoo
That’s right, his estate even featured a full-sized zoo. He wanted to mimic the ancient kings and queens in Europe by having a zoo. In the zoo, he had giraffes, elephants, rhinos, horses, birds and even hippos. In fact, 50+ hippos now roam the area, which are the offspring of the hippos in Escobar’s zoo.
#4 Private Airport
His estate also featured his own private airstrip with a number of private planes. These planes were used to transport hundreds of tons of cocaine from Colombia to the USA. Without this airstrip, Escobar wouldn’t have been nearly as rich as it allowed him to ramp up his exports off the official radar.
#3 Numerous Properties
In addition to his luxury estate, Escobar had a number of other properties. He owned a waterfront mansion in Miami, an island getaway in the Caribbean, as well as a number of other different safe houses and properties throughout the world. There is said to be millions of dollars stashed throughout his many mansions, which many treasure hunters have tried to find.
#2 Changes In Hacienda
After Escobar’s death, his prized Hacienda was taken under government control. It was first given to low-income families, and then turned into a theme park and resort after that. Later, it was converted into a museum about his life and crimes, but the building eventually fell into disrepair.
#1 The End of Hacienda
While the workers were trying to fix up his semi-destroyed mansion on the estate, they mistakenly demolished it. The building collapsed on its own, as it wasn’t built very well originally by Escobar. Thankfully, when it fell, no one was inside. When this building collapsed, it took a lot of memories down with it.