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In 1991, Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar was the richest and most famous criminal in the world – but he was also the most dangerous.
Throughout the 1980s, Escobar and his bloodthirsty sicarios (assassins) had waged war on the Columbian government and its people to fight off threats of extradition to the US for the crimes.
In a bloody conflict, Escobar's hitmen targeted everyone from politicians and policemen to innocent civilians, with over 5,000 people dying at his hands.
Such was El Patron's power when in 1991 he finally decided to turn himself in he did it on his own terms in a custom-built prison that was every bit as extravagant as you might expect from a man who earnt over $1 million dollars a day.
Under the terms of his "surrender", Escobar agreed to spend five years in a prison that he would build himself: La Catedral.
Whilst there, Escobar was allowed to choose the guards who protected the prison as well as who would be imprisoned with him and Columbian authorities weren't allowed within three miles of the complex.
The drug lord chose a spot high up on the hills overlooking Medellin and in June 1991 he moved in with his own private army at his disposal.
The location of his prison was deliberate, offering a strategic view of the area to protect against invading armies.
In a rare sentimental touch for a mass murderer, he also arranged his prison so he could look down on his daughter's house in Medellin with an enormous telescope.
Needless to say, Pablo's time in prison was anything but hard.
The drug lord applied several luxury touches to his pad including helipads, football pitches, jacuzzies, fully stocked bars and even a massive waterfall.
For a year, Pablo and his mercenaries lived the high life and his massive drug empire continued unchallenged with Pablo pulling the strings from inside.
Every day, the gang would smuggle prostitutes and expensive food into the complex which they would gorge on.
As prisons go then, it wasn't a prison at all – but all good things come to an end.
While the Columbian government were willing to turn a blind eye to Escobar running his drug empire from the sight, their patience was tested when he brutally tortured and murdered four of his associates inside.
In July 1992, the Columbian army surrounded the facility and demanded Escobar surrender and turn himself for transport to a normal prison.
Colombian drug trafficker 'Otoniel' looks beaten as he's extradited to the US
In response, Pablo simply walked out the back door and was unchallenged by the authorities, who were all terrified by his reputation.
After a year on the run, Pablo's murderous life was ended by a gunshot to the head on a rooftop in Medellin in December 1993.
His prison would eventually be taken over by monks who have transformed it into a place of worship, washing all the stench of El Patron's empire away.
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- Pablo Escobar
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