Velasquez, Assassin For Drug King Escobar, Dies

Jhon Jario Velàsquez, known by his alias “Popeye,” an assassin who worked for Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, died on Thursday according to a statement by Colombia’s prison institute.The statement said the 57-year-old, who had a long criminal history, died at the National Cancer Institute in Bogota, where he had been treated for stomach cancer.Velàsquez’s first stint in prison was for 23 years after plotting the murder of an ex-presidential candidate. But Velàsquez has admitted to committing over 300 murders himself and also helped coordinate the killings of nearly 3,000 people for Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel during the 1980s and 90s.After serving extensive prison time he gained fame as an author and YouTube celebrity with over 1.2 million subscribers. On his YouTube channel, he spoke angrily about leftist rebels, corrupt politicians and expressed a desire to run for a seat in Colombia’s senate.Velàsquez spoke openly about his career as an assassin during a television interview, expressing his preference for a revolver and saying he “worked from the eyebrows up.”He continued to confess to assisting in many of Colombia’s most notorious crimes, including the killing of presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan in 1989, the kidnapping and murder of Colombian journalist Diana Turbay and the Avianca Airlines bombing, which killed 107 people.He was released from prison in 2014, but Velàsquez’s time out of jail was short-lived when authorities caught him partying with a wanted U.S. drug trafficker in 2017. By 2018, he was arrested on extortion charges.Velàsquez was hospitalized in late December, 2019 at the National Cancer Institute in Bogota where he died early Thursday morning.Even years after his run with Escobar’s cartel, Velàsquez continued to boast about his former boss, describing him as “a good friend and a good enemy.”Escobar founded the Medelli cartel and was shot and killed by Colombian security forces in 1993.

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