#1: He cut a deal with Colombia to go to prison, but made a deal to go to a luxurious prison he had designed, built and named “La Catedral” — the cathedral
If this isn’t a clear indicator of the power Pablo Escobar wielded, I don’t know what is. In 1991, Escobar agreed to a deal to go to prison, but not just any prison. He was incarcerated in a self-designed prison he named “La Catedral.” The prison had a soccer field, barbeque pit, and patios. Nearby he built a compound for his family to live in.
Included in his deal with the Colombian government was the deal that Escobar was allowed to choose his fellow prisoners as well as who worked in the prison. He was also permitted to continue to run his cartel and receive visitors. Additionally, the Colombian authorities were not allowed within three miles of Escobar’s prison.
All was well until rumors of Escobar’s continued criminal activities began to be exposed by the media. The government tried to move Escobar to a more conventional jail on July 22, 1992. However, Escobar’s contacts disclosed the plan to him in advance, allowing him to make a well-timed escape.
By: Amy Lamare