Pablo Escobar is holed up in yet another safehouse, pursued by a coalition of his enemies.

U.S. forces, Colombian police and a death squad of criminal rivals are all out to kill him and anyone that gets in their way.

This has been Escobar’s life since escaping from the charade of his imprisonment to avoid extradition to the United States to face charges of murder, racketeering, engaging in continuing criminal enterprises and conspiring to smuggle cocaine.

Escobar would rather rather kill himself than be extradited.

But it won’t come to that.

Or will it?

Rated NC-17 / 2,000 words / 8 minutes of morally ambiguous reading pleasure

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‘Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ Matthew 5:10



Copyright 2024 Stefano Boscutti
All Rights Reserved

They call me the Monster of Medellín.

What idiots. I’m no monster. I’m a father, a brother, a son.

I’m a businessman, a politician, a leader, a man of the people. Am I a little misunderstood? Sure. But who isn’t?

Pablo Escobar, 43, takes a drag from the butt of a ragged joint. He sits at a dining table and looks around the darkened living room of his latest safehouse as he slowly blows out a stream of acrid smoke. Wearing a stained dark blue polo shirt with red trim. Dirty, stonewashed jeans. Heavyset, brooding. Bearded.

The blinds are drawn to keep out the late afternoon sun, keep out any prying eyes. It smells of fresh paint. Light blue.

What do you think of the colour? It’s nice, right. Brings in a little piece of the sky.

A boom rattles the apartment. Followed by what sounds like the rapid-fire shots of a machine gun blasting masonry. 

Limón, 36, rushes into the room, eyes ablaze, gun drawn. He’s Escobar’s most trusted driver and bodyguard, most loyal. Escobar looks over the newspapers spread over the dining table, unconcerned. A military-grade satellite phone to one side.

‘Check to see when they’ll finish,’ he says without looking up.

Limón lowers his gun and heads down the hallway. Contractors are busy upgrading the bathroom with brand-new fixtures. Escobar has a thing about clean, neat, well-proportioned bathrooms. 

Escobar has spent more than a year rolling from safehouse to safehouse. Sometimes in villages or deep in the jungle. Mostly in and around Medellín. It’s where he felt safest. He’d given the poor of the city new housing, new stadiums, new health programs. He’d given them jobs, money, a future. They repaid him by never turning him in.

When the police and military started hunting him down, they turned their backs on the authorities. When his enemies roamed the city’s twisted streets, they blocked off roads. When the war started, they hid.

Limón heads back into the living room.

‘It’s going to take another day to finish the plaster,’ he says.

‘Are you thirsty? I’m thirsty. Do you want to go out and get some Coca-Cola? We’ll fry up some arapina when you get back.’

Limón looks worried. Escobar crushed out the joint.

‘I’ll be okay,’ Escobar says. ‘I have your saints to look after me.’

Limón nods and heads off.

‘I’ll be back before you know I’m gone.’

After they killed Gustavo, Limón gave me a leather necklace with three good luck charms - the Virgin Mary, the Sacred Child of Atocha and the Sword of St Michael. 

Sometime at night before it’s his turn to sleep, I hear him pray to the Sword of St Michael. Under his breath, ever so faintly.

Glorious Sword, fight all spirit of ruin in our families, in our minds, and in our hearts.

Glorious Sword of St Michael the Archangel, place the victorious sign on my right hand to give the final victory and to be able to overcome all of the destructive spirit that wants to lead me away from the Sanctifying Grace.

Come Glorious Sword of St Michael, flash with a ray of the Holy Spirit, so that we can see the face of our Heavenly Beloved Father and be worthy of the promises of my Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

It’s good to believe.

On the dining table with the newspapers is a plump roll of US dollars, a gold Rolex Cellini watch and a black Sig Sauer P226 9mm handgun. There’s also a long piece of worn string with knots about a centimetre apart at one end like prayer beads. A black plastic comb too.

Escobar pulls at his grey-flecked beard as he reads an article in one of the newspapers.

So much news, so little truth.

They say I murdered journalists, editors. Why would I do that? Sure, I kidnapped a few here and there to scare some sense into them. But killing journalists is a stupid idea. They’re better off alive. Especially when they can help spread a story.

You don’t think I know how propaganda works, how public relations works. I studied political science at university - political behaviour, political institutions, public law, public policy, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, political communications. It’s all propaganda. It’s all made up.

My history? Growing up in poverty in the countryside? Walking four hours to school barefoot? Barely enough for food? It’s a good story but none of it is true.

My mother was a school administrator, my father a farmer with his own land. My family owned their own home. Yes, there was running water. Electricity too. We weren’t animals.

You know the childhood story of the leftist guerrillas storming my village, shooting down men and women and children before my eyes. Dousing everyone and everything in gasoline and setting it all on fire, blazing into the night sky? Black smoke darkening the moon?

All made up. My brother still loves telling that story. But we weren’t even in the countryside all that long. We moved to Medellín when I was a teen. I started following social causes, marching in street rallies, hurling rocks at the bastard police.

It was the culture of young people. Nadaismo. Thumb your nose at the established order, disobey your parents, write your own rules. I had my first joint when I was thirteen. I never stopped.

Money? I always loved money. But why make it when you can take it. In the beginning I controlled a large and quite successful car theft ring in Medellín. But stealing cars, breaking them down, selling off the parts - it’s a pain in the ass. Too many mechanics. Dirty work too.

Much easier to sell protection. You know, insurance. You charge owners every month for their cars not to be stolen. You make more money over the long term. And if they don’t pay, then you steal the car. All very above board.

It’s like the cocaine business. It’s not complicated. You bribe someone here, you bribe someone there. You pay a banker twenty percent to help you bring the money back. Simple.

You try not to kill everybody, just the ones who are going to be a problem and the ones who are trying to kill you, no. You want to get them before they get you. It’s survival instincts. It’s natural.

All the stories of all the thousands of people I’ve killed? Ridiculous. I’ve never personally killed anyone, not a single soul.

The waiter I was supposed to have drowned in my swimming pool at La Hacienda Nápole? For stealing my silver knives and forks? In front of all my guests? Lose my cool like that? It’s ridiculous.

I’m not an animal. I’m a King, the King of Cocaine. El Doctor, El Mágico, El Padrino, El Patrón. I offered to pay off my country’s debt with ten billion dollars. I should have been the president of Colombia instead of running from safehouse to safehouse like a common criminal, lawyers and politicians hammering out a peace deal to stop extraditions to other countries.

Not just for me, mind you. For everyone in Colombia, rich or poor. To be tried for domestic crimes in another country is unconstitutional. Personally, I’d rather be in a tomb in Colombia than a prison cell in the United States. I’d rather blow my brains out. 

Even now. With hardly any cash on hand. Seriously, this war with the government, with the state, is costing me. I haven’t banked millions in months. Just a little here and there. I’m on the run so I’m only moving kilos, not tonnes. It’s costing me plenty.

Escobar closes the newspaper, pushes it away.

All you see are the stories of narco-terrorism and kidnapping and deaths and carnage. All attributed to me, to my Medellín cartel. What cartel? Everyone is dead or in hiding. I’m ready to hand myself in but the state keeps blaming me for every fucking crime in the country.

Meanwhile more cocaine is sold out of Colombia every day. Tonnes and tonnes and tonnes. The Cali cartel is making all the money. And I’m making all the headlines. 

Most of the homicides in Medellín over the past year have been by death squads with ties to the security forces and the local elite. The owners and publishers of these fine newspapers. 

State terror to maintain a state of fear, to paralyse citizens, to subjugate them. Like rats being fed electric shocks if they ever step out of line.

State-sponsored terrorist groups like “Love for Medellín” eliminate even the possibility of opposition through social and class cleansing

Do you how the El Colombiano newspaper describes the “Love for Medellín” actions, how it describes the blatant murders and assassinations and massacres? How it describes the death squads? As a public relations campaign to educate the poor.

COPEC, as well as Bedoya’s Battalion of Intelligence and Counterintelligence unit will one day be tried for the massacres they’ve covered up. Mark my words. History decides the truth.

Escobar has been on the run ever since escaping from the lavish prison he built for himself overlooking Medellín. It was called La Catedral and it was like no other prison on earth. Swimming pools, jacuzzis, bars. Even a soccer pitch and a disco. Escobar hand-picked the guards and carried on with business as usual.

It had been a negotiated surrender to avoid extradition to the United States. He’d agreed to a five-year prison sentence but fled after serving one year and one month.

The Colombian government wanted to move Escobar to a military prison but he was - as always - a step ahead. He’d built his escape route during the initial construction. All he had to do was kick over a false wall and walk free.

The authorities immediately placed a $6 million bounty on Escobar’s head. With the help of the U.S. government, a 600-man Special Ops unit called Bloque de Búsqueda - Search Bloc - was formed with the sole objective of hunting down Escobar and his associates. Formed by the Colombian National Police, it included U.S. Delta Force members, Navy SEALs, DEA agents and CIA operatives.

Search Bloc members collaborated with anti-Escobar vigilante groups such as Los Pepes and other paramilitary forces out to assassinate Escobar. Public hangings of Escobar’s hangers-on became regular occurrences. Not just sicarios and henchmen but lawyers and accountants, friends and family. It was war.

You know what really pissed them off? It wasn’t the cocaine, it wasn’t the murders. It was the fact I wasn’t one of them. I was an outsider making too much money, too much cash. At one point my brother told me we had one-hundred-and-thirty-seven billion in U.S. banknotes here in Colombia. That much cash out of circulation? It’s a little embarrassing, no?

The Federal Reserve in America couldn’t print more cash for fear of inflation. The President himself weighed in and called for a war on drugs. More propaganda. They just wanted their U.S. dollars back. Idiots.

Escobar stands and softly pushes the chair behind him. Looks down the hallway towards the bathroom where contractors are working away.

Wanders across the dining room to the main window, carefully draws the curtain apart a millimetre or two with the edge of his forefinger. A thin line of golden light slices down his face. Peers down Carrera 79B below. There’s a canal across the street but no people walking past, no cars. West Medellín’s Los Olivos neighbourhood is unusually quiet at sunset.

Spots a small bird in a tree. It shivers and flies off, disappears.

Even as an elected official, they denied me. They threw me out of parliament, threatened to arrest me, jail me. Bastards.

Did I rub their noses in it? Maybe a little. But I also built hospitals and houses for the forgotten, for the poor. Take from the rich, no.

Political turmoil had left the lower classes alienated and disenfranchised, lost. How could I not help them? By nature, I’m a generous man. An honourable man.

I demolished slums, rebuilt entire low-income neighbourhoods right here in Medellín. Constructed soccer stadiums, medical clinics, new schools, thousands of new homes for the poor the state wouldn’t acknowledge, let alone help.

I walked the streets like a modern hero, handed out cash to young and old alike. They called me San Pablo. Even the church gave me its blessings.

Escobar looks over the dining room as night falls, glances at the satellite phone on the dining table. Looks at the front door. Wonders what’s taking Limón so long.

El Limón was his nickname. His real name was Álvaro de Jesús Agudelo. He’d been part of the family from the beginning. Bodyguard, driver, confidant, friend.

Escobar steps over to the dining table. Picks up the black Sig Sauer P226 handgun.

How many times had Escobar put his life in Limón’s hands? How many times had he climbed into the trunk of a car, trusted Limón with his life?

How long can it take to pick up some soda? Maybe he’s been kidnapped? Grabbed up by vigilantes? Taken by police?

Surely he hasn’t turned? There’s nothing Escobar hates more than a traitor.

Escobar pulls the slide all the way back on the chamber of his handgun.

It snaps back as a fresh bullet slips into place.

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Copyright 2024 Stefano Boscutti

All Rights Reserved

The moral rights of the author are asserted.

No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, digital, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or copying and pasting, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing.

Stefano Boscutti acknowledges the trademark owners of various products referenced in this work. The publication or use of these trademarks is not authorised or sponsored by the trademark owner.

This is a work of fiction. While many of the characters portrayed here have counterparts in the life and times of Pablo Escobar and others, the characterisations and incidents presented are totally the products of the author’s unsettling imagination. This work is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. It should not be resold or given away. Thank you for your support. (Couldn’t do it without you.)

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