Photo archives reveal the saga of Colombia’s cocaine king
The Memory of Pablo Escobar
by James Mollison
$60.00 List Price
Crime may not pay, but for Pablo Escobar, the man synonymous with the Colombian cocaine trade in the 1980s, it certainly did. By 1979, two years after Eric Clapton released his hit cover of the song “Cocaine,” twenty-two million Americans were using the drug, a fourfold increase from five years earlier. Clubs in Miami—just a two-hour flight from Bogotá—and New York drove the demand that launched a billion-dollar industry. Although various cartels competed to satiate Americans’ newfound obsession with the glamorous white powder, Escobar emerged as the dominant supplier, controlling 80 percent of the business.
While other cartel bosses preferred to work in secret, Escobar cultivated celebrity, becoming the figurehead of the industry, as his hero Al Capone had been the front man for Prohibition-era bootleg booze. In
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