An Evening With Roberto Escobar

Sometimes opportunities come up while traveling that are unexpected. This was the case while visiting the city of Medellin in Colombia. My friends and I were given the unique opportunity to spend an evening with Roberto Escobar at one of Pablo Escobar’s houses in the city. It was definitely a stand out evening in my travels that I will never forget.

Roberto is Pablo Escobar’s brother and was the accountant in the Medellin Cartel. At one point he was wanted with his brother on the FBI Most Wanted List for a $10 Million reward. There are photos in the house of their FBI posters and he spoke about being in Washington DC in front of the White House the day the poster came out. He said they even visited the FBI museum.

He told stories of his brother always in a positive light highlighting the Robin Hood effect he had on the city of Medellin building hospitals, schools and soccer clubs for the city. The family provided housing to all low-income families in the city and provided scholarships to college for hundreds of children.

Escobar’s home is situated on a hillside in Medellin with views of the airport from the terrace so Pablo could see his shipments of cash arriving by plane from the US. The house is almost setup like a museum of Pablo Escobar’s history. It has cars that belonged to the drug lord and photographs of both of the brothers throughout their years in the cartel. The photos and stories highlight how outrageous the lifestyle was in the 1980’s at the height of their business.

Roberto Escobar also spoke about being always paranoid during that time and showed safe rooms in the house equipped with oxygen tanks to hide out for long periods if needed. I even tried out the safe room behind the living room fireplace.

This house is also the site of the attempted kidnapping of Roberto Escobar in 2006 and still has bullet holes in the walls.

Escobar told stories of meeting politicians, world leaders and entertainers. He spoke about spending time with Frank Sinatra, Fidel Castro and a 3AM visit from Madonna. He was open to answering all of our questions during the evening. When I asked him who the most interesting person he had ever met was, he wouldn’t say because he said they were still alive and maybe wouldn’t like the association.

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