Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, (1 December 1949 – 2 December 1993), gained world infamy as a Colombian drug lord and became so wealthy from the drug trade that in 1989 Forbes magazine listed him as the seventh richest man in the world. The war against Escobar ended on December 2, 1993, as he tried to elude the Search Bloc one more time. Using radio triangulation technology provided as part of the United States efforts, a Colombian electronic surveillance team found him hiding in a middle-class barrio in Medellín.
The shootout between Escobar and the Search Bloc personnel ensued after the house was located. How Escobar was killed during the confrontation has been debated but it is known that he was cornered on the rooftops of Medellín and after a prolonged gunfight, suffered gunshots to the leg, torso, and the fatal one in his ear. It has never been proven who actually fired the final shot into Escobar’s head, whether this shot was made during the gunfight or as part of possible execution, and there is wide speculation about the subject. One very popular theory is that Hugo Aguilar shot Escobar with just one shot with his 9 mm pistol. His 2 brothers, Roberto Escobar and Fernando Sanchez Arellano, believe that he shot himself through the ears: “He committed suicide, he did not get killed. During all the years they went after him, he would say to me every day that if he was really cornered without a way out, he would shoot himself through the ears and he shot himself through the ears.” During the autopsy however, there was no stippling pattern found around the ear proving that Pablo Escobar’s fatal wound to the head was shot no less than arms length.
After Escobar’s death, the Medellín Cartel fragmented and the cocaine market soon became dominated by the rival Cali Cartel, until the mid-1990s when its leaders, too, were either killed or captured by the government.
The Robin Hood image that he had cultivated continued to have lasting influence in Medellín. Many there, especially many of the city’s poor that had been aided by him while he was alive, lamented his death.