Escobar’s Hitman

Not every day does one get the opportunity to meet a man who is personally responsible for murdering over 250 people and torturing thousands more. In this RT special we meet John Jairo Velásquez Vásquez, a.k.a. Popeye, he is a local celebrity in Medellin, Colombia and can be found walking around the streets in broad daylight enjoying the attention he receives.

Back in the 80’s when the city of Medellin was home to Pablo Escobar’s infamous cartel, Popeye was the go to hitman who could always be counted on to get the job done. Under Escobar’s leadership The Medellin Cartel reached its peak and in order to maintain its power the most powerful drug lord in the world would instill fear through the means of kidnapping, torture, planting bombs and all other horrific forms of violence.

In the wake of all of this violence many civilians became victims but they were simply considered to be ‘collateral damage’ and after 23 years spent in prison Popeye is unrepentant as he feels he has paid his debt to society. Now a free man his criminal expertise lands him roles in popular television shows and films. For those that were not directly affected by Popeyes actions they tend to see him as a star but many see him differently.


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