Inside Pablo Escobar’s Drug Island Getaway

Pablo Escobar was killed in 1993, shot in the head while running across a rooftop with his bodyguard while the two men were trying to escape a gunfight with Colombian police. In the decade or so leading up to that fatal gunshot Escobar asserted himself as the world’s foremost drug trafficker, a kingpin thought to have controlled as much as 80% of the world’s cocaine supply. According to a book written by his accountant, Escobar spent as much as $2,500 a month on rubber bands to wrap the rest of his cash in. Other accounts say rats ate up to one billion dollars annually while the money sat in storage, a problem too inconsequential to be worth fixing.

When he wasn’t assassinating government officials or killing 110 innocent civilians by putting a bomb on a plane in an attempt to kill one enemy, Escobar liked to relax. After growing up in a poor Colombian village, Escobar wasn’t shy about where he spent his annual $20 billion salary. He invested in his favorite soccer team and ordered the construction of a private zoo at his mansion in Puerto Triunfo, Antioquia.

Now, almost two decades after the drug lord’s death, photographer Stefaan Beernaret has published pictures of one of Escobar’s old hideaways. The mansions and nightclubs and gardens around the Islas Del Rosario off the coast of Cartagena, Colombia have been overtaken by nature. As much as it looks like a perfect vacation spot you can almost hear the gunshots and party music.

It certainly does look like it’d be a nice place to do a few lines, though.

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