9 Mind-Blowing Facts About The Real Pablo Escobar

The original story behind your Narcos Netflix binge takes some beating

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With the new series of Narcos having dropped on Netflix there can hardly be a better time to delve into the spurious history of Colombia's favourite drug baron. 

As much as the TV series shocks, the real story of the nefarious kingpin takes some beating. 

Here are some of the stranger facts about Pablo Escobar.

1 | While still in school, Escobar started stealing and selling tombstones to smugglers. He graduated to car theft and kidnapping before entering the cocaine trade in the early 1970s. 

2 | Escobar's tactic for coercing people was called "plata o plomo" meaning "silver or lead." Those that he couldn't bribe he had killed - an estimated 4,000 people. This includes 200 judges, dozens of journalists, three Colombian presidential candidates, an attorney general, a justice minister and more than 1,000 police officers.

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3 | At the height of his drug trading business, Escobar smuggled up to 15 tons of cocaine each day.

4 | One night on the run Escobar burned around £1m in order to keep his daughter Manuela warm. At the time she was suffering from hypothermia. 

Hippos at Escobar's zoo

5 | Escobar built a private zoo with hippos, giraffes, elephants on his estate in Puerto Triunf. The hippos still roam the grounds today.

6 | During the 1980s, Escobar's Medellin cartel was responsible for 80 percent of the cocaine sent to the United States.

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7 | Roughly 10 percent of Escobar's money was spoilt, likely eaten by rats.

8 | His purpose-built prison 'La Catedral' housed a casino, a nightclub, and a spa.

9 | Escobar gave money to churches and hospitals, and food programs. He also built parks and football stadiums in Columbia earning him the nickname 'Robin Hood'. Many of the poor local people who he gave money to were amongst the 25,000 people who attended his burial in Medellin.