A former hitman who killed tons of of individuals for the late drug lord Pablo Escobar has died following a brief battle with most cancers.
Jhon Jairo Velásquez, who was additionally broadly often called Popeye, died on the National Cancer Institute in Bogota aged 57, the National Penitentiary and Prison Institute stated.
Velásquez admitted to finishing up no less than 300 murders himself and stated he helped coordinate the deaths of some 3,000 different people on behalf of Escobar’s Medellin cartel in the course of the 1980s and 90s.
He spent 23 years behind bars for plotting the homicide of an ex-presidential candidate and was launched in 2014 on parole.
After being launched, he went on to achieve notoriety as an writer and YouTube movie star who delivered offended diatribes in opposition to leftist rebels and corrupt politicians and at one level expressed a need to run for a seat within the senate.
But he didn’t keep out of jail for lengthy.
In 2017, authorities introduced they had been in search of his arrest for violating parole after he was caught partying with a significant drug trafficker wished by the U.S. He was ultimately captured in 2018 on fees of extortion.
Velásquez spoke of the murders he dedicated on Escobar’s behalf in a chilly, matter-of-faction style, describing in a single tv interview how he most popular utilizing a revolver and “worked from the eyebrows up.”
“Because I’m a professional assassin,” he stated.
In a gathering with the daughter of Diana Turbay, a Colombian journalist kidnapped by the Medellin cartel who died from a gunshot wound after a botched rescue try, Velásquez stated he took accountability for the crime.
“I want to ask you for forgiveness,” he stated.
He admitted to collaborating in a few of Colombia’s most infamous crimes, together with the assassination of Luis Carlos Galán, who was poised to win the presidency when he was shot to dying in 1989 after talking out in opposition to highly effective drug cartels, and the 1989 bombing of an Avianca flight that left 107 lifeless.
Escobar died throughout a firefight with safety forces in Medellin in 1993.
Even whereas asking for forgiveness, Velásquez continued to specific admiration for his former boss, describing him as soon as as “a good friend and a good enemy.”
“If Pablo Escobar were to be reborn, I’d go with him without thinking,” he instructed El Tiempo newspaper in 2013.